Lent Day Twenty One

Having picked up Avivah Zornberg again, I am reflecting on "lostness" and the news that came on Thursday (March 18th 2004) from Baxter Detention Centre. I heard it from the BaxterWatch mailing list, not from the news. A disturbance in White Two has been caused by the treatment of a detainee who was distraught at the possibility of being put into management (solitary), rather than being sent to hospital to treat his mental illness. Reflect on... the lostness of the refugee, the detainee, the prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, the missing, the murdered, the anguish that is left behind.

from Zornberg (294)
"Joseph's 'lostness' has sent his brothers in all directions... Emptiness, not-being, loss, demonstrate their power to move, to break up unities, and make the fragments volatile.

(295) "...to lose someone, a child, is to be left with the husk, the outer world, with a vacuum at its core --- einenu.

When this concept of loss occurs in biblical and prophetic texts, it often generates a disturbing awareness of ambiguity. Is death, final destruction, the meaning? Or, on the contrary, is it 'loss,' 'displacement,' which carries with it the companion notion of recovery, return?

... it is the task of the ruler (the shepherd) to seek the lost... readers of the gospels have the parable of the lost sheep and the good shepherd; These ideas are in Ezekiel and psalms...

"The psalmist [119:176] still 'remembers' God's commandments: they are not 'lost' to him... Here, the danger of being lost is focused on the problem of forgetting. And the real drama, the dialectical tension of 'lostness' lies in the consciousness of the lost one, in the vestiges of memory that appeal for reintegration.