Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Choose Life

We need never be ashamed of our tears. 
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


For 18 days (chai/life), I didn’t cry.

I didn’t laugh either.

I didn’t speak much.

For 18 days, I didn’t sleep without dreaming.
I went to work. I went shopping. I did laundry. I watched a lot of TV.
I prayed.
I said Tehilim.

Last night, the proverbial damn broke.
I cried. And wept. And mourned.
Along with the rest of Am Yisrael.

Soaking our already-blood-soaked land with our tears.

Naftali Frenkel, Eyal Yifrach, and Gilad Shaar – may their memories be blessed, and their blood avenged – are the latest (and may they be the last) victims in a very long line of Jew hatred. Murdered because they were alive, they join millions of Jews throughout the centuries who have been slaughtered simply because they were breathing.

There seems to be no end.
And so we weep. Until it seems that we will drown in our tears.

But make no mistake.

"You see us crying. This is because our hearts are full of love, because we are human beings. Don't make the mistake of interpreting our tears as weakness of spirit. We are strong, we are here, and your day will come”, eulogized Uri Yifrach, father of Eyal.

I take solace in that I belong to a people whose hearts are full of love and not of hate. 

We solve problems, not cause them.

I belong to a nation that builds and not one that destroys

We do not celebrate death by giving out candies. We do this.

My people save the lives of anyone in need.

Our soldiers are trained to help, wherever help is needed.

no matter the pain

no matter the irony. 

Rachel Frankel, mother of Naftali, spoke of the murders “This was not a random act of cruelty. They went out to hunt, and G-d chose you to be the poster children of the opposite, of good and of love." 

We are a nation of goodness and love; a holy people.

"We will learn to sing without you", she said.

Though this is a heartrending declaration, I am heartened that we are a people who sing to G-d—even in our deepest grief.

I am proud to belong to a nation that chooses life – that celebrates life! – even when we are surrounded by those who celebrate death, both ours and their own.

I call today upon heaven and earth as witnesses for you. I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. And you shall choose life, so that you and your children may live (Deuteronomy 30:19).