Sunday, June 15, 2008
Some Perceptions of Recent History
I was thinking previously; next year will basically be the first time 'ברכת החמה' can be recited during my lifetime (it comes out every 27 years- last one was when my (27 year old) brother was born). And then I thought 2009 is the coming one- then the next one will be 2036- which I find interesting, being that I usually think of the last century when I think '30's', but I would do well to live till then in good health (G-d willing). And then I thought, imagine what 'old fogies' our kids will make of us by the 2070's! They'll say; oh what ancient times- the 30's! Better yet- grandpa remembers events from 2009 (compared to how we see 1909 as a long while ago)! These things are so self evident (that every century has 100 years), yet they're still enjoyable to fathom! And also living through a century lets you look back and see how novel our forbearers saw their own times. Which I fear is another error in how we perceive history- we see it as a sequence of events that we know happened. Before they occurred though, they were obviously not part of history and novel indeed. Our ancestors saw living in Europe in the 30's of the previous century as we see living in America in this century. Every historical event seems 'inevitable' to us because of our (as Berel Wein terms it) "20/20 hindsight!