It is truly an amazing feat that while the world is turning, we the people, do not turn with it. Or so we think. Though we cannot feel ourselves physically turning along with the Earth, we are, at the same pace, turning. Even though we know this fact, how come we feel like the world stops turning when tragedies occur?
A few days ago tragedy struck Israel again when two terrorists entered a synagogue and murdered five people (Rabbi Moshe Tweresky hy”D, Rabbi Kalman Levine hy”D, Aryeh Kupinsky hy”D, Avrham Shmuel Goldberg hy”D, and police officer Zidan Seyf hy”D) as they were praying for salvation. Though many throughout the world were shocked and many world leaders condemned the horrific attack, the world, for some strange reason, did not stop turning. It felt like that for the widows and children and grandchildren of those slain, but for the rest of us it did not. I remember that morning hearing on the bus from the boy’s av beit (father-like figure for boy’s dorms) that people had been murdered while praying in Jerusalem. All of us on the bus had gone quiet and contemplated what that meant, but after a minute we were back to talking and planning our next motion. That morning I davened (prayed) with such kavaneh (intent) that I did not even know that existed, all for people I did not know, yet had a connection too. Besides the slain having been my Jewish brethren, I realized that the same fate they were met with could have happened to me too. I pray in synagogues, I stand at bus stations all the time. I was in Jerusalem at the same time -only a few minute walk away –when the first terrorist that started this whole balagan (problem) drove into a crowd of people waiting for the light rail, killing a seven month year old baby and a young woman. When I heard the news I was shocked and disgusted. But only an hour later I was jumping on a light rail to go back home. Why did I get on a light rail even though danger of being killed was high? Why do people still, after eleven people have been killed, continue to walk around Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv and take buses knowing that right now they could be taking their last breath of air? We do so because just as the world continues to turn, so do we. We go on because as a Jewish people that is our innate nature to do so. These monsters believe that through their senseless murders we will bow to their terror and let them win. We the Jewish people have never been a religion to back down. No matter how hard the enslavement or pogroms or terror attacks got, we prevailed and became stronger.
Many people know Matisyhu’s hit song Jerusalem. The famous lyric from that song is: “Jerusalem if I forgot you let my right hand forgot what it’s supposed to do.” People may not know but that lyric is actually psalm 137 from a compellation of songs created by King David Those we have lost but not forgotten, that’s what those lyrics mean. At least to me. All the lives from the destruction of the first temple to the holocaust to the modern day intifadas and wars we have to had to fight to stay alive, that’s what it means to not forgot Jerusalem. Through all the hell and chaos we have always remembered the reason why we keep fighting- for life and prosperity. For that hill that G-d chose for Avraham to sacrifice his beloved son Yitzhak on. For those children that lost their parent and need to know that it was not in vain. Even though we believe the world has stopped turning in times of tragedies we have to remember it has not. The reason we have been able to continue turning along with the Earth is because of faith. Throughout our history at our darkest moments when we truly believed we would never see the light of day again we emerged stronger and better and ready to fight on.
Even with Hamas firing rockets into the ocean, practicing for us, we still continue walking. Even when the Jordanian Parliament, when only a week ago Secretary of State John Kerry, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and King Abdullah spoke on how to ease tensions, had a moment of silence for the terrorists, we continue to drive. Even though the streets seem to have become rampaged with riots, people continue to pray and even have a brit in the Har Nof synagogue. As the world continues to turn for centuries more we will never forgot the drive that insure us to never forgot our right hand and what it is supposed to do.