After all, what is the best way to be home?
We’re not exactly home yet, since we’re at D#2’s house to be with family for the celebration of their D#1’s bat mitzvah. This is Granddaughter #2 for us, with good timing so that we could be here now. We would have come, anyway, but this will be different. We are adjusting slowly since coming in three days ago. After all, we didn’t sleep on the plane, or at least I didn’t. So we were not setting high expectations for any day. Cutting veggies for soup for Shabbat is about perfect.
And getting the news on Thursday was a reality check of the most important kind. A child killed in her bed. From a report on Thursday:
This morning, she was sleeping in bed. Tonight, she sleeps in the earth.
Thousands escorted Hallel Ariel to her final resting place. Just 13 years-old, she was stabbed more than a dozen times this morning by a 17 year-old terrorist, as she lay sleeping.
Hallel’s mother kisses her bier.
“You didn’t want anything.” she chokes into the mic.
“Thirteen and a half years ago, after many challenges and attempts, I merited to give birth to you. Immediately there was light in my life. You had a crown of light, Hallel. You made me a mother.” The crowd behind her starts to cry softly.
“Matriarch Sarah, hug her please, because I can no longer,” she wails, begs, pleads with Heaven. “Miriam the prophetess, play your tambourine for her, make room for her on high so she can continue to dance.”
Life got even messier close to Shabbat when gunmen unloaded 20 bullets into a car carrying members of a family, killing the father, seriously wounding the mother, and injuring the three children with them. The father, Rabbi Miki Mark, is another beloved teacher in the area.
Husband. Father. Grandfather.
Another beloved person.
Things are not neat here. Someone shared some wisdom another friend wrote:
Only when the beast strikes does our fear box implode — no longer contained in the back of our mind, but fresh, raw and aching. Breathtaking in its forceful presentness. So we cry and gasp and write terrible, powerful blogs and posts in an attempt to share our sudden reality with ourselves and with others who sympathize, but cannot understand, living in this country charged with extremes. Like the weather we swing from temperate everyday life to blistering, scorching gasping hurt and then back again.
So I’ll posit this: we don’t live in fear, we live with fear. We live alongside the grim reality that terrorism exists amongst us. It is unpredictable, savage, and evil. But it doesn’t force us to change our lives. We don’t cower at home. We can’t. Ve’omar lach b’damaich chayi. [And you will live in your blood; one of the phrases that is said at the Pesach seder and also at a brit milah] So we live.
Do you see the dirt in the photo below? This is our daughter’s neighbors’ home. New construction, with a leak that required the beautifully designed garden to be dug up and reworked.
With wishes for a peaceful week ahead.