The HEJERA PLOTby Y. I. Hy (C) The Hayut Foundation, P.O.B. 8115, Jerusalem 91080, Israel.
This item is part of the Academy of Jerusalem proceedings. If you wish to comment or receive further related material, contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
2.1 On June 6, 1982 , the Israeli army moved into Lebanon
On June 6, 1982 , the Israeli army moved into Lebanon. The army quickly gained control over all of southern Lebanon, which until then had been for many years under the de facto control of the so-called Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Soon the Israeli army controlled all access to the Palestinian strongholds in West Beirut and after a difficult siege it drove the PLO to exile across the sea.
This report does not intend to reiterate what is easily available in the chronicles of that period, but to point at three aspects which got scant, or no, coverage in the world press at the time:
One is that June 6 is also the anniversary of the beginning of the Six-Day War; the event which symbolizes for many Israelis the beginning of a new political reconstruction born out of the changes that the results of the war brought to Israeli culture, and which symbolizes for some Israelis the beginning of the self\- destruction of this culture.
The other is that the PLO is not a monolithic organization, but an umbrella for several Palestinian entities with divergent philosophies and methods, and that the shock of the war amplified changes and divergences in this organization.
The third - and most secret of these - was that when Begin did meet Reagan two weeks after the onset of the war, the president presented him with the HEJERA box during their private meeting.
In spite of the striking military victory, the many internal and external pressures on Israel and the internal pressure on Begin were increasing from day to day. Israel was being vilified in the eyes of more and more of the world's public, American-Israeli relations were becoming strained, and many foreign powers were pressing Israel to recognize the PLO. The costs of the war and the prolonged occupation, both in hundreds of human lives and in money, were draining the resources of the country and boosting inflation. Moreover - the Jews of Israel itself were becoming more and more polarized into violently opposing political and ethnic camps. All these were beginning to cause Begin to suffer from sleep disturbances. In front of his house and in front of his office there thronged demonstrators who called him to resign, waiving banners with the number of the dead Israeli soldiers. During one of those demonstrations, one of the demonstrators was killed. Nightmares started haunting Begin's sleep.
Back to Contents page
2.2 One morning, a distressed Begin told his closest friend
One morning, a distressed Begin told his closest friend, now one of his aides, about a nightmare he had had the night before: He found himself surrounded by a wild mob yelling and waving petitions demanding that he make some gesture to the PLO, something on the same scale as his inviting Sadat for the visit to Jerusalem. Trying desperately to get away from the pressing mob, he ran into a room and behind a podium only to find himself at a news conference with Sadat himself as during that famous visit. Yet something was this time different, and Begin felt worried. He was trying to smile, but each time found himself unwillingly drawn to stare at Sadat's tie. There was no doubt about it - his guest's tie was patterned with swastikas; the accursed symbol seemed to multiply under his eyes, and he soon saw that all the others; reporters, guests and even members of the Knesset, were wearing swastika arm bands. The crowd raised their arms in a Nazi salute, which was returned by his guest, who was no longer Sadat, but simultaneously both Yasir Arafat (the PLO chairman) and the dead Fuhrer, may his name and memory be erased! The swastikas started growing, multiplying and spinning faster and faster like ventilators, and Begin understood that they were irresistibly sucking him into the gas chambers...
He woke up in a cold sweat. After he had at last somewhat recovered from the nightmare, he started wondering about the strange gift he had received from the American president. Was it a friendly present of assistance, or another part of a diabolical plot against Zion? He decided that he had better check it out.
Back to Contents page
2.3 When Begin went to the new laboratory that had been outfitted by Logi-Loony
When Begin went to the new laboratory that had been outfitted by Logi-Loony, he found the professor in a room which contained not only the famous black box, but also a strange assortment of glassware like a chemical laboratory. The professor then put some unidentified chemicals into two glass vessels already filled with a clear liquid, he stirred one and soon the liquid turned red; which then turned blue, although he added no more chemicals. From then on it kept changing rhythmically from blue to red and back again. As this continued, delicate yellow bands began to appear in the other vessel. As Begin stared at them, the bands formed into spirals which started spinning. Logi\--Loony then carefully dropped a glass object shaped rather like the the insides of the Automaton into the vessel. The yellow bands then gradually changed into a three-dimensional form whose cross-section through any plane was shaped like the Star of David - a six-pointed star also called the Seal of Solomon and frequently used as Israel's symbol.
These, announced Logi-Loony, were instances of what is known to biochemists as "the Zhabotinskii Reaction".
Back to Contents page
2.4 Begin, already strangely captivated by the behavior of the bizarre solutions
Begin, already strangely captivated by the behavior of the bizarre solutions, was startled when he heard the name of Jabotinsky (the spelling of this name varies somewhat in the different spheres of chemistry and of Zionist history, but the pronunciation is the same), who was his old political mentor - the Eastern European Revisionist leader, an eminent writer and poet, who picked the young Begin in the 1930 's to lead the Jewish army which he envisaged.
"The Jabotinsky you knew", said Logi-Loony, "was a great writer and orator and a great conversationalist. The Zhabotinskii who studied and publicized the reaction you see here is a Russian chemist. Still - the two are related: his discoveries are also of interest to some of the scientists who study human conversation. For them, this reaction is a metaphor of oration. When you are speaking - at some moments your voice is heard, at others - you hear the reactions of the crowd. Something is moving back and forth just like in this chemical reaction".
Logi-Loony stopped speaking for a moment, and the two men smiled at each other. Both of them knew that Begin was the most powerful orator in Israel. Yet Begin had to have the last word. "You speak about a reaction connected with Jabotinsky", he said, "There were many who called Jabotinsky a Reactionary, there still are such. But they are the real reactionaries, whereas Jabotinsky was a great original thinker".
"That may well be so", agreed Logi-Loony, "but you would agree that his original and new vision was a re-vision. A reaction to the totality of what Zionism was then, and to what Zionism could be. Let's say that he supplied the blue to counteract the red".
"Definitely" agreed Begin, "Jabotinsky himself actually said this in the poem Kula Sheli (She is all mine)".
"In a successful conversation", Logi-Loony continued, "the two partners share in one totality. Let's say that your words are the blue and mine - the red. The two may seem completely different, but actually they are but two phases of the same entity. In the solution which generates the Zhabotinskii Reaction we have thus a demonstration of principles which may be the solution to the problems which pester you."
"What do you mean? Do you claim you can pull out of your black box the solution to the problems of the People of Israel?"
"This black box, as you call it", answered Logi-Loony, "contains the evidence for over three thousand years of Jewish history. For me it is indeed a black box. Even though I have designed and built it as it now stands, and have even put the contents into it, at least technically, I can never know as much about what will come out of it as you can. Because what I have put in will always be less than half of the story. Many outcomes can come out of the box right now. Some possible solutions for the problems of humankind are indeed, in a sense, already enfolded within it, but they must be formed as results of a conversation. Only you can call forth the ideas most appropriate to your own present political problems. This is the distinction of the Heavenly Jerusalem Agency embodied in this box."
"The Heavenly Jerusalem?" mused Begin. "Where does the name come from?"
"The Heavenly Jerusalem is the name given to a vision that kept reappearing to seers of the three Abrahamic religions. The Talmud states that God created the Heavenly Jerusalem two thousand years before the Creation of this world. The Kabbalists regard her as a symbol of haOlam haBa, The World to Come, since she is also a symbol for the Sefirah of Binah , namely of understanding, and thus of an Age of Understanding. Moslem legends say that already Adam saw her and tried to bring her to this world. It is apparent from the Bible that Abraham, David and Ezekiel also had visions of her and endeavored for her realization. In the Book of Revelations, \-which ends the Christian New Testament - Saint John describes the vision of the New Jerusalem coming down from Heaven as the image of the most desired future. For Jews, Christians and Muslims alike, the Heavenly Jerusalem has been a symbol, and perhaps an agent, for the redemption of this world."
"What do you mean by 'agent of the redemption'? Are you claiming that your black box is our longed-for Messiah?
"I wouldn't have thought to use such terms", assuaged Logi-Loony, and after some thought added: "you may be happy to know that the original idea came from an Israeli, and I just realized it. In any case, we are talking about the whole system, of which the box is just a part, like an anchorage. The Messiah and the Heavenly Jerusalem are indeed connected with the idea of redemption, but while a Messiah made by man will always be a false messiah, some authorities state that the Heavenly Jerusalem can be realized and built by people. Through the common endeavor of people who cherish the vision. On the other hand, there are many visions of the Heavenly Jerusalem as being built by God alone, and descending complete from heaven. In the Book of Revelation, chapter 21, for example, she is described as a bride ready to receive her husband and at the same time as a giant box coming down from the sky.
The HEavenly JERusalem Agency is a vision of this traditionally Judaic type, in which the endeavors of mortal men help to bring out the redemption. This particular model of it, The black box, is a technological embodiment of the ideas of the prophets. A sort of an electronic translation. The HEJERA facility, as I call it for short, allows the user to converse with these seers and learn from their visions by being present with them when the visions are produced."
Still hesitant, Begin started to explore the box, touching the different mottos and reading the names of the twelve seers as they appeared. Most of the names interested him but little, and Jabotinsky's didn't appear at all. Begin then mentioned out loud that he thought he might consult Herzl about his problems.
"When you talk to Herzl", explained Logi-Loony, "or with any other member of the HEJERA advisory Board - you can be sure you are in complete privacy. The only way any third person can know what passed between you is by your mentioning it. You can say whatever is on your mind, no matter how strange it might seem to any other living person. You can be as imaginative, speculative, heretical or just plain crazy as you want to be; no one will try to stop you or pass judgement on you. The HEJERA puts you on the path which leads away from all limits and toward all possibilities. Instead of limiting you, your conversation partner will encourage you to explore possibilities which you otherwise would not have dared raising. You may even feel sometimes as if the system can sense your intentions and even facilitate your expression of them".
At this point Begin was reminded again of his mentor, and this time of Jabotinsky's translation of Edgar Allen Poe's poem "The Raven" in which the bird effectively answers and even adds meanings to the poet's questions, simply by repeating their last word.
Logi-Loony expressed admiration for the example, and agreed that the utterances of each personage contained in the HEJERA would actually be a repetition or a re-working of sayings which are known to be genuinely his. "These words will be anchored in the history of each one of the personages, and they are legitimate expressions of their creed" - he said - "even though on occasions their disciples might be stunned by the interpretation, at least on first hearing".
Back to Contents of this article
Main Contents of the Academy of Jerusalem
Main Contents of the Cyber Library