The Person Behind The Posts

Friday, December 01, 2023

Today I Borrow Strength From The Future


Ariel, Shiri and Kfir Bibas, Israel's most well-known hostages.

GUEST POST by Syma Steinberg Davidovich

I made the choice to peek in on the news during the “ceasefire”.

I thought that seeing hostages returning home would give me something to celebrate. My lips say thank You but my limbs speak other truths. My eyes leak and leak with salty, oh so salty! tears.

While I am grateful for every soul back in our borders, I am horrified by psychological warfare. My mind and heart travel to places that threaten my equilibrium. I’m distraught by parents forced to wait for their children to walk off the ambulances that deliver them to their safe embraces - how excruciating those moments of wait are!

My breath skips when I see Rimon Kirsht Buchshtav refuse to follow orders to smile and wave at her captures and instead with one look and gesture - energetically slaps him in the face.

May he rot in hell.

This is no less heroic than those small children who do smile and wave - how much strength does it take to do this for the cameras of the world stage???

I look at my beautiful ginger-haired babies and my heart aches for Kfir and Ariel and their mother Shiri; their names echo in the chambers of my twisted dreams.

How strong are our people! My voice is hoarse, screams left unscreamed, not even surprised by the terror attack in Jerusalem killing three and wounding others yesterday. (There is only truth and no chuckle to the joke - we cease and they fire.) Our enemies are many. Thank you HaShem for the revealed and hidden kindnesses and miraculous salvations taking place all around us.

My Chanukah box has been left, abandoned in the closet. I’ve been unable to muster the strength to pull out my decorations as I normally do on Rosh Chodesh Kislev. Today I pull it out. Today I borrow strength from the future. Today I unwrap the symbols of my faith — my ancestral DNA is packed with victories over all other heinous enemies and nations that threatened our survival. I dust off the chanukiyahs and remember that small lights conquered vast and deep darkness.

This is a war that has been won by our people many times, and I renew my conviction that we are participating in the last and Final Battle, and I know that it only ends in Hashem’s Glory. I can almost say “dayienu”when I pass the billboard covering the tallest hotel in the center of Jerusalem proclaiming “Shema Yisrael. HaShem Elokeinu. HaShem Echad.” a mantra that has been reverberating louder and more prominently throughout the generations and into this now moment, keeping to the beat of my heart.

I purchase pure olive oil to remind me of how abundant and prosperous and anointed and absolutely royal we all are. I breathe new life into our home full of this holy holiday spirit, and prepare to greet the Shabbos Queen, grateful that She is near again, and pray for more miracles to manifest.

Please HaShem, take these fragments of unfinished prayers and form them into a song of praise and hope.
Our home is blessed with the smells of holy rituals and traditions and the tears that continue to leak from my eyes, taste a little less salty.


Rosh Chodesh Kislev - the first day of the Hebrew month of Kislev which generally falls in late November/early December. Chanukah begins on the 25th of Kislev.

- A reference to the 9-branched Chanukah menorah, as distinct from the 7-branched menorah in the Holy Temple.

Dayienu - Literally "enough". Dayienu is the refrain from a cherished song in the the Passover Haggadah.

Shema Yisrael HaShem Elokeinu HaShem Echad -Literally "Listen Israel! The Lord is Our God. The Lord is One." Shema is the most basic and lifelong expression of faith and the one Jews teach their children as soon as they can speak.