Lost and Found: An Airplane and a Bar Mitzvah

My husband and I are binge-watching 
, a 2004-2010 TV series. An airplane crashes, leaving survivors stranded without rescue on a remote tropical island. The survivors bond as they face the island’s threats together. “Lost is the perfect blend of drama, action, and science fiction,” says my brother. By drama, he means character development. By action, he means shooting guns. By science fiction, he means writers weaving random impossible ideas into a plot.

Except, this week, Lost seems a bit less like fiction. Malaysia Airlines flight 370 has disappeared.  We do not know if, where, and how the passengers are living. We can read in great detail about attempts to find them — and learn that no one really knows where to look.

This week’s terrible travel news is the flip side of Lost. Viewers of Lost know a great deal about the characters on the island. But we know nothing about the anxious family and friends waiting for news. Nothing about the airlines, governments or rescue crews as they search.

In real life, no one yet knows both sides of the missing jet’s story. But in my own mind, I cannot separate the facts from the fictional story. When I watch Lost, I imagine the untold stories of those who wait. As I read about the search for Malaysia flight 370, I worry about the passengers and crew; I pray for their well-being.

Imagine a story with only two sides, where no one can experience both sides, where anyone who sees one side cannot see the other. Imagine you see only one side. But when you look closely, everything flips around, and now you see only the other side.

V’nahafoch hu, as we say at Purim. It all turned over. Inside-out. Upside-down.

During Purim this year, I had a v’nahafoch hu experience.

You know the ongoing, polarizing debate about Jewish power. Do we, in North America and Israel, have enough power and security? Or are we always battling the beast of antisemitism with money and military strength? Two views, mutually exclusive. Normally, I see only the former.

Posted on March 17, 2014

Note: The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. All comments on MyJewishLearning.com are moderated. Any comment that is offensive or inappropriate will be removed. Privacy Policy