Friday, January 28, 2005

Shehecheyanu For The Last Generation Of The Cold War

Each generation's worldview is shaped by the world events that it sees and lives through. My generation is an unusual generation. I was born during the Vietnam War. My father was drafted for the war while my mother was still pregnant and I was born when my father was stationed in Saigon. My generation grew up always in the shadow of Vietnam.

My generation is also the last generation to know the Cold War and have the thought of nuclear annihilation in the back of our mind. In elementary school I remember participating in nuclear drills where we would take cover underneath our desks - as if this would save us from radiation.

We had a unique worldview, one that might not be easily understood by the generations that follow. There were clear sides. The Soviet Union was THE enemy and any country allied with them was just as bad. There was an East Germany, a Yugoslavia, and a Czechoslovakia. America's wars were limited to Grenada and Panama.

This all changed after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today my generation continually tries to make sense of the chaotic world surrounding us.

In one regard I feel blessed to be a part of this generation. My generation had exposure to people who survived the Holocaust. We were able to sit down and talk with them, hear their stories, and learn about a world that is no more. It is hard to imagine living in a time where my exposure to the Holocaust came only from what is written in a history book. This, however, will be the case for my children's generation.

It is up to me to tell my children and connect them to what I have heard.

Blessed are You, Hashem, our G-d, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this time.


At January 28, 2005 at 12:54:00 PM EST, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

Hi SJ,

Smart post and sensible.

At January 29, 2005 at 12:19:00 PM EST, Blogger Tamara said...

Thank you for the insightful and eloquent post. Even I, at 31 years, remember thinking "Russia bad, America good". I sort of remember when I realized how silly that was. Even today, at many public highschools, one can see remnants of the era you speak of with the leftover "Fallout Shelter" signs.

Wow, how far we've come....and oh so far we have yet to go.


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