I like my phone. I am a seventeen-year-old girl who grows restless throughout the day, antsy in my seat, perturbed by the monotony in classes and lectures. I reach for my phone occasionally- scroll through social media, laugh at the latest Buzzfeed articles, text my camp friends. Although I like my phone, I am not attached to it like my peers and fellow teens of this 21st Century society. But today, that changed. Today, I do not like my phone. Today, I Hate my phone.
My parents always told me to erase the word “Hate” from my vocabulary; take that energy and put it into good use. “Hate” is associated with, what I like to call, the “H”s, entities that embody such animosity and all coincidentally start with the letter “H”: Haman, Hell, Hitler, Hamas, Hezbollah, Holocaust. My parents told me to renounce the word from my vocabulary because it only causes destruction, inhibits integrity, eradicates morality, propels devastation. I can’t abide by their rule today, however, because what normally gives me some solace–my phone–has been causing my Head and Heart and Hands to explode.
I Hate my phone, and I will from now and for days to come. Throughout class today, I felt like that stereotypical teenager, clasping my phone as though my entire life was confined to that single object, as if I would break without my connection to Wi-Fi or cell phone service. The news of today’s gruesome murder of four innocent Jews initiated my Hatred and only augmented as time progressed. While teachers lectured and students listened, my neck burned from staring down at my screen, persistently checking recent updates on Israel, reading responses about the terrorist attack, and glaring at the Horrifying photos capturing the puddles of Jewish blood. As the day sustained, my fingers scrolled through websites and my battery drained. As the day continued, the victims’ lives Halted, Happiness vanished, and my energy exerted into a small Apple product because that was the entirety of my life. I needed the news and I needed the pictures just like I needed to breathe. My life was in my Hands, and the indents in my palm serve as evidence of my requisite; my phone scarred my Hands because I clenched it so hard, the shape of my case engraved in my skin. My phone scarred my Head as it spun with questions of faith and existence. My phone scarred my Heart as it beat and surged blood throughout my body while others’ did not.
You are still probably wondering why I’m transgressing my parents’ rule, why I’m wasting such a powerful word on a mere piece of technology. My answer to you is clear: I Hate my phone because I Hate what it tells me. I Hate what it is displaying on my news feed and notifications. I Hate what it is buzzing about throughout the day. I Hate it, I Hate it, I Hate it. I Hate it like Haman hated Persian Jews, like Hitler hated the non-Aryans, like Hamas hates the Jews. Like the people who Hate and the resulting importunate destruction, time and time again.
It is a cycle, you see, this idea of Hatred and Harm. My parents prohibited this word in attempt to rid the word’s ideology from existence, from perpetuity, since Hate almost always results in Havoc, Hell on earth, Horrifying consequences, and more Hate. They know of its recurring quality because it is common knowledge: just look at the series of “H”s, talks of our History, and information about Humanity. All of these things possess a cyclical characteristic because that is how it seemingly works.
I’m here to object to that understanding. Because a cycle can shatter, a life can end, and limits exist. The terrorists proved that with their massacre of four innocent men. And I deem the world able to prove that, as well, prove that our universe is not replete with Hatred, that Humanity can possess not just Hatred but also Hope, that History is not just Harmful but also Helpful, that our world can persist without the animosity, devastation, the Hatred. I hate my phone today, and I will until my phone breaks. I hate Hamas today, and I will until they cease their Hatred toward my country, my people, and my nation. You see, my parents gave me this rule to never use the word “Hate” because they did not want me to continue the cycle. I’m here to say no, all of it is a farce. Because entities are terminable and life is mortal, G-d being the only system of continuity that goes unbroken. Limitless.
Like millions of others, I read today’s news. Today, however, I read the news and reached my limit, for that is the nature of Humanity. I am done with the cycle, done with the terror, done with the excuses. I am ready to terminate the cycle, ready to fight back, ready to stand up for my nation, ready to put an end to the Hatred. Today, I choose to use the word “hatred” sparingly and truthfully-I Hate what is happening to my people and my nation. Today, I choose to break the cycle of Hatred, using it not for destruction but for Heroism, reaching new Heights of morality, directing my Head, Heart, and Hands toward what I believe in, unifying with the rest of the Hebrews, and Handling Hatred differently. Today, I stand up for my Home.