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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, February 06, 2006

Munich

I went to see Munich last night. Despite all the hype I have heard, it was extremely well done and I found it to be one of the best movies I have seen in a really long time. It made me think about a lot of things. Brief background for those who don't know the premise - During the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Germany, 9 Israeli athletes were taken hostage by Palestinean terrorists and them killed, simply for the fact that they were Israeli. The movie is about the aftermath of that event, and the men who took revenge on the planners of the terrorist attack. I have always had a very hard time with the concept of revenge. I have always been troubled by those passages in the davening where it speaks about wanting revenge on those who harm Jews, in the parsha where it deals with wiping out Amalek. I never could really understand it. When Arafat died, and people were celebrating, I had a very difficult time understanding it. I knew he was a horrible person whose presence led to the death of many Jews, but I couldn't bring myself to celebrate anyone's death. Watching Munich, I understood it more. I could feel the anger at the horrible people who took innocent lives. I saw the difference in the Palestinean terrorists who killed Jews because they were Jews, and the extreme care the Israelis took to only target those who had made the first move, and those particular people who were responsible for the death of their brethren. I still couldn't find myself happy at the deaths of these people, but I certainly could understand a feeling of fairness. The movie also made me better understand the feeling of being part of the Jewish people. Those athletes were killed because they were Jews. And as a fellow Jew, it hurt me. I have always felt this hurt when I heard of innocent Jews being killed in terrorist attacks, but something about the movie really struck me and made me realize that we are one family. That a blow to one of us, is a blow to all of us. Because the truth is, it doesn't matter to these terrorists what we do or how we think or dress. It matters to them that we are Jewish, and it should matter to us as well. The other thought running through my mind during the movie was to wonder what a non-Jew watching it would think. Because I felt this sense of being part of a nation, I could easily feel and understand what was going on. I wonder whether any non-Jew, no matter what kind of ethnicity of group they might find themselves a part of, could relate to this feeling of being part of a nation, of a people. I wonder if the whole thing would be incomprehensible to them, or whether they could learn from it, and strengthen themselves as part of whatever group they identified. All in all, again, I thought the movie was excellent, and I certainly learned much from it.

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