Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Ignorance is NOT Bliss
This past Thursday, June 30, I was in very high spirits. I found myself sitting on an outdoor patio meeting a friend, on an uncommonly cool day in Boulder, Colorado, nursing an ice cold half liter of beer at 11:30 AM. There was a slight breeze that I was savoring, and the excitement of July 4th weekend was tangible. After my meeting, I felt a buzz in my pocket, and saw that an old friend had sent me a Facebook message, asking me to read an article she should just written for The Times of Israel. In that article I was shocked to read about the previous night's events-- namely that a Palestinian Terrorist savagely, cowardly, stabbed to death a precious, pristine thirteen year old Israeli girl in her sleep. Reading this left me in a state of denial-- How could this happen when everything is so hunky-dory here? How could this have happened, and only now I am finding about it? Usually, I see disturbing news as it happens on Twitter. But then I remembered, as I wrote about a few months ago, that I removed Twitter, Facebook, and Safari from my smartphone. And I reflected that in general that has been an excellent move. No longer am I reading about mindless political tweets from the candidates, useless sports information, or other downright slanderous speech.
However, at that moment, when I heard about this vicious attack hours after it happened, I realized getting rid of my Twitter had a downside as well. Because when tragedy happens to my dear brothers and sisters in our precious Holy Land, I want to know about it. I want to mourn with them, to feel their pain. I want to cry with them, to grieve with them. I don't want to be far away, oblivious to the unbearable pain they are going through. And the truth is, this is one of the things I miss most about Israel. Yes, of course I miss feeling the holiness every breath I take. And yes, I miss the food, and interacting with the colorful Israeli personalities. But I also miss crying with my nation during times of crisis. I miss the feeling that I am grieving alongside all of Am Yisroel, not in isolation in America, as everyone else is shooting off fireworks, celebrating this amazing country's independence. It is almost cruel how in America life just marches on, totally unfazed by the horrific tragedy in Israel. But I am shaken. Because the Jewish People are like one body. When the left foot is wounded, that affects the entire being. When part of the body is in pain, the whole body feels it as well.
When a person is injured, he can take medication to numb the pain, to enable him to forget his misery. When it comes to the Jewish People, I don't want any medication to deceitfully hide the pain. I want to feel it.
May G-d end our pain for good, and bring us all back to the Holy Land, speedily in our days.