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I can't write about anything other than the terrible tragedy of last Thursday night.
A brutal Arab terrorist walked into the Merkaz HaRav Yeshiva, and machine gunned the yeshiva students, killing 8, and wounding 11 (reports about the number of wounded vary).
I had plans for Thursday night: KAA just turned 40 and I invited her and LF to come over and celebrate! We planned a fun & light-hearted "girl's night out" (more accurately a "girl's night in"). LF brought all the fixings for ice cream sundaes, and KAA brought a great selection of "chick flicks". We never got around to watching a film. We were having such a good time talking and laughing, we decided to forgo the movie and just enjoy sharing thoughts and stories.
The evening was filled with laughter and good humor... until we learned of the terrorist attack, as it was still going on.
Then, what could we talk about? What could we laugh about?
The rest of the evening, as we learned what happened, our conversation turned to living with fear and terror, and the frustrations of living under a government that does not protect its citizens.
We talked about hope for the future, we talked about Jewish leadership, we talked about how nice it must be to be a leftist and believe that it is up to us to create peace, how much easier it is to live with cognitive dissonance and believe that peace is in our control, rather than live with the knowledge that no matter what we do, the Arabs will hate us and seek to destroy us.
"I believe that the "amcha" (the common people) are like us, that they just want to live in peace," said one of my friends.
I used to believe that too.
But, I ask you, where are the Arab peace movements? Where are the bereavement support groups for mothers of suicide bombers? Where are the parents protesting what Arab children are learning in kindergarten (to grow up and be suicide bombers) or watching on TV (that the best thing they can do is to kill Jews)? Where is the outrage when other Arabs go out and slaughter Jews?
Why does the world tolerate this silence?
I am sick and tired of hearing excuses like "They have to say that," or "They can't speak out."
What happened to social responsibility and social accountability?
As Edmund Burke said, "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
It's time to stop excusing the Arabs as if they were weak-minded and stupid.
The Arabs are clever and strong.
The reason that they say what they say is because they mean it.
They want to kill us. They want to destroy us. They do not want to live in peace.
They have a different worldview and it is time we let go of our colonialist attitude that if we just "educate them" then they will want peace. We need to recognize that these people have their own, very different, worldview, and they have a sophisticated plan for achieving their goal.
And let's face the facts: they are winning.
Israel is the only place in the world where Jews can be killed just because they are Jews and NOTHING HAPPENS.
As we were discussing all this, Y came home from babysitting.
She needed to re-adjust her plans for the next day, since she would not be able to take busses under the current circumstances.
"It's not fair," Y protested.
"It's not fair," KAA concurred.
"It's not fair," I echoed.
What else could we say? It wasn't fair.
I felt bad for Y. And I felt bad to be the one limiting her.
It's not fair that she has to grow up like this.
It's not fair that our government does not protect us.
It's not fair that Y (and MD, and A) will always remember guards in front of kindergartens and restaurants.
Israel wasn't always like this.
It used to be safe to eat in restaurants. It used to be safe to ride on busses. It used to be safe to walk in the Arab marketplace. It used to be safe to drive through Arab towns. It used to be safe to hike in nature without a gun.
On Shabbat, shul (synagogue) announcements were framed by Thursday's incident. First, the acknowledgement that it is difficult to deal with Thursday's terrible event. Then, information about various simchas (celebrations), like births and weddings. Then, a public request that members of our shul (synagogue), who own weapons, bring them to davening (prayers).
I don't know why I was surprised.
It makes sense.
We are all at risk.
Still, it makes me sad.
It's just not fair.
Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.
With love and optimism,
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