Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Kite Runner Meets the Days of Awe

This past weekend I took a rare, hedonistic adventure, immersing myself in a novel for the first time in eons. The Kite Runner is richly detailed, engrossing, insightful and surprisingly, reminded me that these were the Days of Awe, the time of reflection between Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.

The themes are universal: regret, repentence, and redemption, though the Afghan/Muslim and Jewish cultures take somewhat disparate routes to get there.

There is ethnic cleansing, be it the Holocaust or the Taliban or myriads of culture wars before. And loss of one’s land and one’s identity, with the struggle to begin again. And then insights from the wise elder, who helps the protagonist understand identical events viewed both from the perspective of childhood and later with the wisdom that comes with age and experience.

And ultimately there is hope—from the courage of an individual, struggling with remorse and his understanding that there is 'a way to be good again.'

Imagine if “For you, a thousand times over” were to become the mantra of our world.