Gaza and simple pleasures


Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own or so the master says in Matthew’s gospel. Particularly in his’ time when life was short and often brutal—there was more enough daily trouble to go around. Life has always tossed us curve balls—mental and physical ailments, disappointments of all kinds, thwarted dreams. All too true but as Teilhard told us, “By virtue of Creation, and still more the Incarnation, nothing here below is profane for those who know how to see.” A rich faith life helps to direct our gaze and point us in the right direction.

Daily we live under a waterfall of grace. the seemingly small pleasures nourish us. The happiest people are those who are engaged in our common struggle for humanization. While it is true that wherever we are it is Egypt and pharaoh is still on his throne and life is less than it should be, people come together in communities, organizations and movements to make life more tolerable if not better.

Many through sheer luck, birthright or yes, talent, have all their physical needs looked after and sadly end up as Nietzsche said of the last men, live a life of pitiable comfort. The pleasure principle is their sole ambition. They have their reward as superficial as it may be.

For those who are truly alive La lucha continua as the California Grape workers used to say…the struggle continues. The world needs our engagement. One can never retire from this summons.

The great pacifist A.J.Muste used to go to New York Mets games to unwind. I like to go to the Toronto Boardwalk and watch my grandkids play soccer. What an exhilarating experience, watching these pre-teens race up and down the pitch, cheered on parents and friends. I watch the boats on the lake, the caring coaches and refs and the spirited determination on these innocent children This goes on all over this city on summer nights, all run by volunteers. A simple pleasure. A kairos even as the missies crash into Gaza

I am aware that as of August 24, nearly half a million Palestinian children in Gaza who were scheduled to start a new school year were unable to do so because of Israel’s savage massacre which took the wholly innocent lives of about 500 precious ikons of the divine The Al Mezan Center for Human Rights puts the number at 518, while the Palestinian Center for Human Rights reckons 519.


Cousins of the 4 Palestinian kids killed while playing soccer on a Gaza beach

In an interview last week Pernille Ironside the chief of UNICEF Gaza’s field office said that,” the future of Palestinian children in Gaza is extraordinarily bleak. The entire population has experienced a deep form of trauma, and there isn’t a single family in Gaza who hasn’t experienced personally death, injury, the loss of their home, extensive damage, displacement. The psychological toll that has on a people, it just cannot be overestimated, and especially on children. I’ve met children who have experienced extraordinary wounds, who have watched as family members were dismembered before their eyes, obliterated….I mean, the impact and the type of weaponry that’s being used is literally shredding and obliterating people, and particularly children, who are so small and vulnerable.
Ms Ironside, the very best of the wonderful people who work for the United Nations stated in her usual professional manner that “there appears to be a rollback in terms of the compliance with the norms of international humanitarian law that dictate civilians and civilian objects, including shelters that are run for relief purposes, are protected spaces at all times.”

I observe in stunned disbelief that local rabbis are not shaking their fists in rage over the deaths of these children. I wonder why the Catholic bishops are so mute on such an egregious betrayal of civilized norms.

At the same time i am grateful for Israeli writers like Gideon Levy and Amira Hess who never stop challenging Israel for its betrayal of ethical Zionism.

I watch my grandkids cavort on the boardwalk’s soccer pitch I rejoice in such a simple pleasure and as I take Dougie for an ice cream after his game i am deeply aware of 519 Palestinian children and one Israeli who will never grow up to kick a soccer ball.



  1. 1
    mushafta Says:

    A prominent Catholic Toronto Cardinal is outraged at a politician who would dare to publicly chastise a politician for his VIEWS on abortion. Hours later other prelates fall in line and condemn to hell the same politician thereby giving notice that all Catholics fall in line. Great moral courage did it take for these brave men to speak out on such a worthy cause.

    Outraged! Outraged! Did I neglect to say they were all “Outraged” over any attempt to abort an innocent fetus not even born?

    Roll the utube video forward to the time of the summer barbecues roasting hot dogs, weiners and hamburgers all over these courageous prelates’ archdioceses.

    Silence from the pews. Silence from the pulpits. No scrums with the media. Knights of Columbus standing sword in hand, cape and hat just unwrinkled from the fashionable cleaner at the corner mall. Woe betide any poor girl contemplating an abortion! All standing at the ready to descend upon them and cast them to hellfire and damnation and pour forth plentiful guilt to even bully them to suicide.

    Did someone mention the slaughter of innocents in Palestine? Over 2000 mostly innocents slaughtered ? Children taking refuge in a UN school blown to bits and pieces?

    Where were these brave voices for social justice when needed to condemn Israel for its genocidal actions in real time? Nada! Have to be politically correct and side with the media, our friends in power.

    Gone are the prophetic voices that once could be heard throughout the land of ancient Israel!

    Long live the blessed Ted Schmidt who wears no cape and carries no sword, except that of forgiveness!

  2. 3
    mushafta Says:

    שלא יהיה שלום בפלסטין!

  3. 4

    Reblogged this on allanbaker.

  4. 5
    mushafta Says:

    Here we go again! Just as Ted said! When will they ever stop?

    Today’s Globe and Mail:

    Israel on Sunday laid claim to nearly 1,000 acres of West Bank land in a Jewish settlement block near Bethlehem – a step that could herald significant Israeli construction in the area – defying Palestinian demands for a halt in settlement expansion and challenging world opinion.

  5. Thanks Ted, for all your insights! When I speak and write about this gross injustice to the Palestines, I’m so sad that more (church) people are not aware of the issue.

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