The Day After

I finally cried my first tears. I believe perhaps I was in shock until now. We are all connected to those murdered yesterday. Either we knew them specifically or know someone related to them. It’s all anyone is talking about, it’s the only piece of news finding it’s way on my Facebook feed and it’s all we can think about. The horror of the attack, the overwhelming somber thoughts of all those fatherless children, the terrible way the media has portrayed this event is a reminder, that we must keep our enemies close but not THAT close. It was a targeted slaughter, you can not call it anything else, the offenders brought a butcher knife. Call it what it is.

We are left questioning why? Rebbetzin Schachter, visiting from the States, told me yesterday, “it’s our fault”, that “we are a greedy people and because we want cheap labor”, so we let them into our neighborhoods and homes to build our houses and stock our supermarket shelves. We invite the enemy into our private sacred spaces and we want the world to see us as a fair people but when is enough? Hashem, G-d has chosen us to be better than the rest, we have a higher standard that we are asked to uphold and to be a light unto the nations. And we continue to get slaughtered, day after day, week after week, year after year, century after century yet we remain strong and bonded to our Savior more and more after each tragedy.

When will we wake up?
When we will say dayenu, Enough!

So many questions are left unanswered. Mostly people are asking, why? Why so brutal? Why so random? Why must we suffer this way? What are we not doing right, how much more can we be doing? Prayer. Prayer is key to finding the answers. In our prayers there are answers and we must repeat over and over again until they flow from our lips and continue their flight to heaven.

My boss, though I hate to refer to him that way since he is never bossy and always asks politely for anything and shows true appreciation for each task done, walked into the office today hunched over, the sorrow weighing heavily on his shoulders. He lives in the community where the massacre took place. He was learning only a few blocks away at a different house of worship and those who were murdered were his friends, colleagues and neighbors. Listening to a Yonatan Razel song about G-d “saving us”, the while he walked in, the tears came. To be attacked from behind with prayers on their lips means G-d took them at their highest level of devotion. Wrapped in garments specifically made for men in prayer, the same garment one is wrapped in to be buried is holy, but to martyred brutally causing us to cry in unison our fervor and sincerity for salvation from our savage enemies is heart-wrenching. Looking at the photos is a must, for if we are blind to the damage our evil brothers can do unto us we are not protecting our innocent young, we are fools.

From where I sit in the holy land, there are two sides people seem to be taking. Fire all Arab workers and give them nothing, which the opposing side feels will only lead to boredom and encourage their wrath. What other culture or country would allow their enemy to benefit from the government meant to protect its people? When a light-rail is built and rocks are used to throw at it causing damage, when tractors given for work are used to run over innocent drivers, when cars are rammed to innocent citizens waiting for a bus it is time to take things away, not continue to give. We are over indulging this petulant child. We are enabling them to be lazy and point fingers at the hand that feeds them. Let them create a better society for themselves. They live next to us and benefit the same as we do, yet we are the ones who came to a barren place in the 1900’s and were blessed with a land of flowing milk and honey. We are the chosen people for this reason. You can believe what you want. I believe if we continue to pray, we will be rewarded with light and kindness and compassion. While we suffer through this life with disappointments we can not let them break our spirit. We must continue for G-d counts our tears and hears our prayers. Sure we have come a long way and are a highly complex, intelligent species, but to be so bold as to think we can understand everything is foolish, we are taught that some things we must just accept. We put our faith in something, sometimes beyond reason, though this still does not ease our pain. We hope the world will open their eyes to the evil that is around us and put an end to terror so that we all may live peacefully

May we move past these dark days into a redemption worthy of our chosen people. 

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