Anger has flowed through me this week and though I know I've been angry before, I can't remember it ever being this bad. I had to have been this angry in the past - this isn't the first time Palestinian terrorists have targeted our children. I could list more than a dozen in seconds so I must have been this angry before, and yet at this moment, all else is blocked out as I focus on this anger, this pain.
I was angry...what an entirely inadequate
word...at what was done to the three Israeli boys (and yes, there is
anger for what was done to the Arab boy...but that anger is on a slow
boil until I know the perpetrators because unlike several Times of
Israel bloggers, I refuse to assume I know more than the investigating
I was angry at the media -
for every time they referred to the boys as settlers. For the record,
only one was a settler. The other two lived in places just like most of
you - and they ended up beside Gilad anyway. And the guard that was
almost stabbed outside my office this week - he's not a settler. And the
people on the bus that was stoned in Jerusalem - also not settlers. (And yes, the people on the three Maale Adumim buses that were stoned and damaged, most were probably settlers...if that makes a difference).
was angry at the media for the insensitive way they behaved at the
funerals of the boys. For them, it was mostly about the pictures they'd
get as they frantically made notes to themselves so they would know what
to say for their next 1 minute of air time; for the fact that they
scanned the crowd not to be inspired by the sheer numbers, but for the
faces of the youngest, most devastated mourner there...better to present
I was angry when the media woman asked if I would be
interviewed for Channel 2 because I happened to be standing, one of the
mourning sardines, while she stood in her spacious cordoned off area as
if God Himself had erected the barriers. "I didn't come here to speak to
the news," I told her. She looked surprised and a little annoyed - how
dare I take up the place of a potential interviewee...before she moved
to the next person and the next. And yes, she made me angry.
was angry at all the articles I have read in the last few days
admitting guilt for murdering a child on my behalf and all of Israel,
and I was angry that some small minded man with thousands of followers
had the nerve to criticize the mothers and fathers of these boys. So
angry, I could barely write.
takes a toll on the body - I'm exhausted. I'm tired. I'm sad. I want to
cry and then when I start crying, I am amazed that I still have tears.
I'm so angry. I believed, I had to believe, they would find them alive.
I'm angry that their bodies were found, when I wanted their smiles. I
wanted that hug between each mother and her son. God, I wanted those hugs.
working on putting the anger away. I was never angry with God. I can't
explain why, but I wasn't. There are blessings to be found in
everything, I told a group of people last week at a special Seudat
Hodaya (a meal of thanksgiving) that I made on Shabbat after walking out
alive and well from a horrendous crash caused by an Arab who sped
through a red light and totaled my beautiful, brand new car. The
blessing was life...and so even in the seconds after the accident, I
felt no anger, only incredibly blessed. I stood in front of my friends
and said to them - there are blessings in everything and I prayed the boys
would come home...
They came home...but not alive. Where is the
blessing in that? I'm working on that, but I will tell you that in all of
this, at a time when I wish I could have done something to help the
mothers, it was they that helped me. The grace of these women will never
As I start making Shabbat this week, kneading the
dough for the challah that will be baked later this afternoon, cutting
the vegetables for the soup just beginning to boil on the stovetop,
making a sauce for the chicken that I need to put in the oven, peeling
the potatoes for the kugel that my mother-in-law taught me how to make,
that she learned from her mother - all regular things I do each week, it
seems a little bit different. My mind is with these mothers.
Maybe this whole thing isn't about the boys - maybe it is about the mothers. Theirs and ours.
showed grace this week and unlike me, they kept their anger to
themselves. They were the definition of strength and dignity while the
rest of us wanted to smash and scream and cry.
showed pride in the agonies that others were caused; pride in the evil
that their sons had done. There was no dignity, no grace.
should, by all that is right, be doing exactly what I am doing now -
preparing to welcome the Shabbat with a cleaned home, fragrant foods
cooking in the kitchen and the knowledge that so very soon, we will pull
into ourselves and rest. The kind of rest that much of the world never
feels. It is an acceptance that Sunday and next week and next month and
next year will come, but right now, we don't have to deal with it.
I'll hear the men and boys walking past my home to the synagogue nearby
and by the time they return, the table will be set, the candles
sparkling against the windows. Tomorrow, I'll hear no cars because I
live in a small figure-eight style block designated as the religious
area of the city - where a small sign kindly requests that people
refrain from driving into or in the neighborhood. And so the only sounds
I'll hear are of children laughing and playing, of women and men
talking as they stroll past my home. Sleep - I'll sleep a lot this
Shabbat to try to make up for all the lost sleep and to let my
still-bruised body take a break.
I only have to focus on the special peace that Shabbat brings...or
should bring. And then, my mind wonders yet again, for the hundredth
time, or perhaps the thousandth time. This Friday morning, instead of shopping
and cooking, instead of inviting guests or being invited, instead of
setting the table and smiling at how beautiful the house looks...they
are sitting with a constant flow of visitors. Some they know well, some
not at all.
Each wants to say so much;
every one of them knows there are no words. They will speak of Naftali,
of Eyal, of Gilad. Of how special they were and of how much they were
loved. And each time they speak in the past tense, a small part of their
heart will scream and they'll wonder how it is possible that the whole
world doesn't hear such a scream, such pain. But as they did for 18 long
days, they will show the strength and the dignity and the grace that
touched our nation and our people.
the southern part of our country, where women are preparing for Shabbat,
once again, they don't have the confidence that it will be a peaceful
one. The men will gather for prayer - a dangerous target, a tragedy
waiting to happen. The children will want to play outside and that too
is every mother's nightmare right now. How far can a child run in 15
seconds, in 30 seconds?
Their mothers and
ours...yes, I'm sure many of their mothers mourn the deaths of their
sons but too many celebrate the deaths of ours.
mothers... blessed be Iris T'shura and blessed be Rachel Devorah and
blessed be Bat Galim - they gave a nation comfort and strength and
dignity this week, when we should have been giving this and more to