The arendt files, p.11
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       The Arendt Files, p.11

           Ivan Rosemblatt
 
He hadn't heard anything other the birds and animals for three days. No cars in the distance, no gunshots or flares at night. For the first two days he had focused on distance. He went up mountains, chose difficult terrain, anything that might be discourage his pursuers.“You can't go up forever you know” he heard Rebbe's teasing voice. This was true. The ground had stopped it's deep incline and was now a soft rolling landscape. It was restful, he was on a stroll in the woods.

  “No stroll, keep moving.” He picked up his stumbling pace. The first traces of light were starting to appear and he was beginning to be able to make out individual leaves on the round below. He had kept track of the day and the Sabbath would start at sunset. He knew that he would have to find a place to hide out soon, a place to rest. Crickets and other bugs were starting to wake, cry out here and there. He loved hearing and watching the day start. In this world all things rest. He remembered the Rebbe's admonition, “You have no idea how much I have to pray to protect you each time you kill.”

  “I thought that in a just cause, defending our people . . .”

  “Nonsense. Don’t be stupid. You indulge in hatred and anger so of course you incur sin. I know you have good intentions, but if all our young men go off to die, who will be left to live? To have children and be father’s.”

  “We can’t raise children as Jew’s in this world. They will be hunted down like dear. Even knowing they are Jewish will put them at risk.”

  “We have done it for thousands of years. We can do it a again”

  “Pardon me rebbe but you are completely meshuggeneh. To live without manhood, hiding who you are, is no life at all.”

  “A Jewish life. A life of prayer and good deeds is the only life for a man.”

  “For Jewish men?”

  “Rebbe's voice. “For any man! We are not chosen because we are better or separate. We are blessed to be chosen, but it is a responsibility towards all of creation.”

  “Forgive me rebbe but it's hard for me to believe in any blessing right now, in being Jewish.”

  “You are young and stupid so I forgive you these words.” The rebbe laughed, shook his head and slapped him on the back. Adam smiled back. For a man of prayer and peace he was a man's man. He did everything with total authority, without vanity, and he exuded vitality. Adam felt better after spending time with him.

  “You need to kill another to be righteous? You think prayer is a waste of time? Those who are trying to kill you, you go to them for comfort, because you let them give meaning to your life. “Make me feel important, make me feel wanted, other people will want me, make me a hero because I kill you. Then you are in their debt. Bound up like master and slave, but who is the master? You avoid yourself and you avoid G-d.”

  “There is a world that is trying to destroy all of us. You too.”

  “Don’t worry about me. I’m quite alright.”

  “Rebbe, let’s not fight. The warriors and the priests. We never see things the same way, right?”

  “This is true. I like it when you speak with wisdom”

  “I’m not a thinking man like you. I see the enemy and I fight him. That’s all. But I am still a Jew. You will pray for me?”

  “Always.”

  “Pray for me hard. Like a soldier.”

  “In eighteen years you will return to me to come and pray with me and you will see how we pray and the kind of battle we are really fighting. For now, go out into the world. You will see , you will see.”

  “Ok rebbe. Whatever you say.”

  “You keep the sabbath?”

  “When I can.”

  “It’s important to rest. All living things need to rest.”

  As he stumbled up a mild embankment kicking dry red and orange leaves up into the air his heart stopped. A couple of hundred yards ahead and to his right was a road. On the other side of the road was a gas station and general store. Behind the store was a wide river with a small dock, five brightly colored canoes resting on it. “They must rent them out.” He took a few steps forward. Over to his left was a two story country home. The backyard of the house faced him, it looked well cared for. The paint was slightly chipped but the windows were clean. There was no back yard per-se, just some posts for the clothes lines, otherwise the land went straight up into the hills. He saw a basket left out by the drying line.

  He had to decide quickly, people were probably already up and about. One of the canoes would help him to make real distance, but since they rent them they must have a place to drop them off down the road which meant it was very likely the river bordered the road and that there were towns along the way, and that he would be visible out in the open. The Nazi's were probably stepping up patrol's all through the area. “Who the fuck could rent canoes now? Go on vacation? Relax? What the fuck? Why are humans so like animals. Always only just surviving. Why is the traitor so reliably present? In the mean time people rent canoes, paying for distraction.”

  With the Nazi's there was always vicious retaliation. The towns in the area were in for a terrible shake up. How bad it would be depended on how much they had been collaborating. Some of the areas more loyal to the Nazi's might be spared from the worst kind of reprisals, women raped, men taken out into the square and shot.

  If he wanted any real chance of making it out alive he would need help but was it worth it to go to the house and ask for help? Knocking on the door could be the end of him. He was willing to die for the cause but it was hard for him to think of risking his life on such a mundane gesture; hi might be confused for a bible salesman or hobo. Like any real soldier he hoped to die in battle and take some of the enemy with him. He stared at the back door as the light of day began to rise and the first birds started to call out.

  “Make up your mind Adam country people get up early.” He didn't know what to do and thought of the rebbe “Set your mind at ease. To God each morning is the first morning of creation. We get worn out by our own folly, our eyes become tired and can't see it any more, but in G-d's eyes everything is new, fresh. Each morning like a newborn child.” He listened to the sounds around him, closed his eyes and took a deep breath, the air was crisp and clean. For a moment his heart was calm.

  When he opened them again a woman was at the back door staring at him. They both looked at each other in the most plain, early morning way. Her eyes were curious but he saw no fear. She wore a brown wool hunting jacket and pants. She had dignity and purpose, there was nothing sluggish or insecure about her.

  He was shocked to feel his whole chest lighten. He was so happy to see her, without thinking he raised his hand in greeting. She lifted her fingers in response, very non committal,l and seemed to be doing a quick calculus. He realized he most must look like hell, dirty and bloody. He saw her take a deep breath and sighed in a slightly exasperated way. “Is she annoyed with me?” Then she waved him over, with urgency. He knew she had figured it all out. Just like that. “This is a smart cookie.” He whispered to himself as he limped forward towards the house, towards the door, towards her.

  Chapter 12

 
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