The Person Behind The Posts

Friday, November 24, 2023




Since the war started, I haven’t known what to say when, in greeting, a person inquires, “How are you?”

For weeks, I’ve been avoiding answering by saying, “Next question.”

It just occurred to me how I’m feeling.

I’m utterly raw.

I cry watching videos of soldiers on 12- or 24-hour leave surprising their children, grandmothers, parents and siblings. I cry watching videos of the endless kindness pouring out of my people. I cry when a non-Jew openly acknowledges that we Israelis are the good guys in this existential war.

These tears are prayer.

I feel sick reading about the moral darkness that exists in our world. I feel sick seeing people tearing down posters of hostages with a sense of righteous indignation. I feel sick witnessing the crude illiteracy of so many who actually believe they are standing up for what's right.

I wake up thinking about whether the women in captivity are sitting in bloody clothes when they get their periods, whether they are still being raped and how any of the hostages will recover any semblance of a normal emotional life if they get out alive, please God.

And I use my words and my imagination to manifest the Final Redemption as the concluding chapter of this nightmare.

How am I? 
I’m raw, perpetually alternating among competing emotions that cannot coexist.

My heart is in a ceaseless tug of war. 



Thursday, November 16, 2023

Days of Darkness and Also of Light

There was a terror attack near our home today. Three noxious beasts left Hevron this morning in a vehicle packed with axes, guns and copious amounts of ammunition. They were stopped at a security checkpoint before entering Jerusalem, the same checkpoint we pass through every time we travel to meet friends, go to a doctor's appointment or see a movie. 

All three savage terrorists are dead now. Before breathing their last, they managed to inflict gunshot wounds on five security officers. One of the soldier who was guarding Jerusalem died of his wounds. Others, including two civilians, were treated at the scene.

These repulsive, reprobate gunmen clearly had aspirations of killing lots of Jews today.

I found out about it as I was leaving for my volunteer shift at the local charity bookshop. The northern gate was closed, all the WhatsApp messages said. Try leaving through the southern gate.

I sailed through the southern gate. There was no traffic on the main highway. Five minutes later, I pulled into the neighboring community where the bookshop is located.

It was clearly not business as usual.

The yellow entrance gate was tightly sealed and the area was thick with army vehicles and security personnel. They denied entrance to the delivery truck in front of me. I was permitted to enter only after the officers checked my trunk.

The shift was a bust. None of the usual hum of customers, coming to stock up on reading material for Shabbat.

I left early.

As I reentered my community through the southern gate, I was rerouted by strategically placed roadblocks, clearly intended to slow entering vehicles. Right across from the guard house was a soldier, hidden behind sandbags, his gun loaded and pointed right at me.

And I was grateful he was there.

It's not normal, the things we get used to.

A few hours later, a soldier mom in our community posted that she and her husband were given last-minute permission to go see their son on his base in the south.

"Anyone have extra food for soldiers??" she asked. 

The replies flooded in.

"Ok, I'll make cookies now."

"I'll make rice."

"I'll make a tomato salad."

"I have care packages ready to go. How many and where to drop off?"

"Grilling eggplant for you."

"I just took out shnitzel and challah rolls."

"I have gluten-free tehina sticks I made for chayalim (soldiers) in the North. You can take it and I'll make more."

Points of light... an otherwise dark day.