by Judah Drelich
On Sunday of this week Tivnu went to a play called The Ministry of Special Cases, put on by the Jewish Theatre Collaborative, which is set in Argentina in the 1970’s. During this period the Argentine government decided to disappear many of its dissenters who turned out to be leftists such as college students, socialists, and academics. To do this the government would take all of their identification/proof of existence so that by the time the family got around to demanding their relative that relative was didn’t even exist anymore.
The main character of this play is Kaddish Posan, an outcast in the Jewish community. He has a son named Pablo who is a university student who is in possession of banned books that were supposed to be burned. Eventually the secret police come and essentially kidnap Pablo leaving Kaddish for the rest of the play to try and save him.
This play brings up many themes but I think that there is one in particular that is important for us at Tivnu. After Pablo disappears Kaddish spends the rest of play looking for him even though it seems impossible that a chronic failure could win against the well oiled bureaucracy of the Argentine government. This perseverance even when there is no hope of winning is something that everyone who does community service has to deal with. Its hard that we will have sunk 9 months into helping out the homeless/ under-housed without any tangible accomplishments aside from the mostly built units we’ve been working on. But that is the legacy of community service- to be able to carry on the right work no matter if you are staring failure right in the face.