When they were still in Hakhshara,* Zeev said that without force, nothing could be established here, and Sonya agreed with him, but added that without morality, nothing could last here for long, and Zeev agreed with her.
Therefore, they decided that they will name their first son “Shooting” and will raise him to shoot, and their second son they will name “Weeping”, and they will raise him to weep.
And that is how it was.
But in the evenings, when Shooting would return from the shooting range, Sonya, who believed that without morals nothing could last here for long, raised her son to weep.
And when Weeping would return home from weeping practice, it was Zeev, who believed that without force nothing could be established here, who raised his son to shoot.
And that is how Shooting and Weeping were brought into the world.
Every time there is a war, Shooting and Weeping are the first to volunteer. That is how they were raised.
They fight like lions, fly like eagles and kill without fear. “Shooting and Weeping are the best of our youth,” their commander always said after battles.
But at the end of the war, Shooting and Weeping would return home and write poems and stories and pamphlets and books about the evil of war and the ugliness of destruction and the horror of killing.
Because that is how they were raised.
In the government, Shooting and Weeping always vote according to their conscience, but always, when the opposite decision is adopted, they have no choice but to execute it in its entirety.
“We don’t agree with a single word of this decision,” say Shooting and Weeping to reporters, “but we will fight to the death to carry it out.”
But Shooting and Weeping are not hypocritical. That is why every night, before they go to bed, they curse the decision in their hearts so that the next day they will have the fortitude to execute it in full.
When Shooting and Weeping go to settle in some new, warm place, they, like all the others, drive away the people that lived there before.
But Shooting and Weeping, as opposed to all the others, are morally opposed to driving away the people who had lived there before.
Shooting and Weeping sometimes even come to protests, protests that demand that those who were driven away be allowed to return to their lands. Afterwards, Shooting and Weeping return to their lands to sow and reap their harvest.
Because they sow with sorrow and reap with joy—weeping and shooting.
Shooting and Weeping are not fools, and therefore, when they see the situation is not-so-good, they decide to have a protest so that the situation will be a little bit better.
So Shooting and Weeping come together and announce that the situation is not so good and that it’s not possible to go on like this anymore.
Afterwards, they return home, but the situation continues to be not-so-good.
So Shooting and Weeping come together again, announcing that the situation is not-so-good and that something needs to be done.
Afterwards, they return home, but the situation continues as before.
Then Shooting and Weeping come together one last time and announce that the situation is not-so-good and that it is not possible to go on like this any more and that something needs to be done and therefore they propose, with reservations of course, to support the present situation, because otherwise the situation will be much worse, and a not-so-good situation in the present is preferable to a much worse situation in the future, and they publish a petition calling for everyone to support the present situation.
And immediately the situation becomes not-so-bad and they return home.
Whenever a natural treasure like the Torkalin caves is destroyed in order to build a residential building, Shooting and Weeping come immediately, and they come to weep twice.
One time they weep with remorse over the destruction of nature, and one time they weep with joy over the building up of the land of Israel.
Because Shooting and Weeping dearly love both nature and the land of Israel.
Once a year, Shooting and Weeping go on a visit to an impoverished neighborhood or some other social distress, and they return deeply shocked and pained.
“Why is there poverty?” Shooting and Weeping ask themselves in pain. “Why is there distress?” Shooting and Weeping ask themselves in poverty. “Why is there pain?” Shooting and Weeping ask themselves in distress. “Why is there shock?” Shooting and Weeping ask themselves in shock.
Shooting and Weeping have many difficult questions.
In the Army of Occupation
Shooting and Weeping oppose the occupation and for this reason they love to serve in the army of occupation.
Shooting and Weeping love it, because in the occupied cities they can shoot and weep as much as they like.
They shoot because they are not wanted there.
They weep because they are not wanted there.
They shoot because they weep. They weep because they shoot.
With one hand, Shooting and Weeping shoot, and with one eye, Shooting and Weeping weep.
And it’s so beautiful to see Shooting and Weeping shooting and weeping, shooting and weeping, shooting and weeping.
And this is how they go on
Shooting and Weeping
This text was first published in the "HaOlam HaZeh",† 15/12/1976. Special thanks to Kobi Niv for his permission to publish it here.
Translation by Itamar Haritan.
|[*]||A training period for Israeli youth who intend to do their military service in the "Nahal", an Israel Defense Forces program that combines military service and establishment of new agricultural settlements, often in outlying areas. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nahal|
|[†]||HaOlam HaZeh (literally "This World") was a weekly news magazine published in Israel until 1993. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HaOlam_HaZeh|