Tonight I am wounded
My heart bleeds and my blood boils
and yes I say tonight, because tonight I finally let it through
I took down the walls for a brief moment to let in the hatred and the lies and the tragedy
and then I scrambled to rebuild brick by brick
but not before shaving away pieces of myself
pieces that I certainly cannot afford to spare
So in an attempt to gain a bit back,
in an attempt to feel as though I spoke, instead of the usual swallow,
tonight, please, let me share a few things with you.
I am wounded by the loss of all innocent life
Whether it be Jewish, Palestinian, French, Syrian
you name it, I’ve cried for it, whether you believe it or not
And now, no, I am not crying over the lack of Facebook profile pictures sporting the Israeli flag in a show of solidarity for the recent violence
nor am I scoffing at the abundance of french flags
because Facebook is not, and will never be, the vehicle for when and how and where I feel my pain,
and therefore, I hope, that others are not accurately representing their pain solely within the realm of social media
But, yes, I am livid
because no, we do not need a Facebook nod to feel heard
we do, however, expect an international nod
we do expect that when an 18-year-old sweet faced American student studying abroad in Israel is brutally murdered, simply for being Jewish (or American, whichever offends you less and infuriates you more) that the world leaders, or at the very least those of his own country, will have a few things to say about it. Just a few.
He was murdered in his spiritual homeland, his body was returned and buried in his physical homeland, and it was all done to the background music of crickets in Washington.
That enrages me. That is boiling my blood to an increasing rate.
And I see the immediate necessity of a simmer.
Because I also see that if it boils over, or if any of it is spilt (Gd forbid),
it will be met by the sounds of crickets from the place that it stemmed.
We are told that we are all alone here
We are told that the world doesn’t care about us
And I don’t want to believe that
if for no other reason than the fact, and I am willing to admit, that I am still a bit naïve at heart
and I still want to believe that the world really does care, and really will see the truth
But with each day, with each new murder, each new deafening silence,
I’m left wondering
Why didn’t anyone from across the world ask me if I’m okay today?
Why didn’t my family call me frantic to say, we heard a girl in her 20’s was murdered today in Israel (Yes, actually happened today)
ARE YOU OK?!
Why aren’t my college friends and my distant cousins and my former coworkers wondering how I’m doing amidst all the recent violence?
Well, I know it is because they are not aware of any violence.
because their country doesn’t deem it important news
because Jews dying is like the coming of winter
yes, it may be a bit cold, it may even be a bit sudden
But hey, it happens without fail, its expected
And unlike the coming of winter (which is all California news talks about the minute the temperature reaches below 70), it doesn’t need a separate mention
They all run their Holocaust remembrance day specials every year don’t they?
No one is interested in hearing more, enough already, right?
So, the people I love, the people who love me, they will not hear of this horror
They won’t call me in a panic or message me on good old Facebook
They trust their screens to tell them if they need to worry
and the need to worry is reserved for innocent lives who don’t live in my tiny piece of land
And for this one I have to first address my fellow Jews
And my naïve heart must step aside for a moment so that I can admit the ugly truth which seems to be
that we are alone
that no one is going to care
and so it seems we must care even more
and so we must stop kidding ourselves that there is any difference between us
Whether you are here or there
You know why?
Because we marched to the gas chambers together
Because our enemies will never care if we are religious, not religious, wearing a kippah, wearing nothing, have dark hair, blonde hair, a big nose or a perfect tiny button nose
A Jew is a Jew.
What you believe in is a separate conversation
Whether you are Orthodox or Atheist
Whether you are Zionist or Pro Palestine, or both
Our enemies will not stop to ask you what kind of Jew you are or aren’t
There will not be any less crickets if the blood of an assimilated Jew is spilt than for the blood of a religious one
And apparently, there will be the same amount of outrage when a Jew from your country dies as when one from mine does. Which is no outrage (see point number 2).
And so, put as many walls between us as you like
but understand that those walls are transparent
and I can see you
but ask yourself this,
Those people that you would rather allow on your side of the wall, can they see you as well?
No, I am not okay.
We are not okay.
The mother who just buried her son is not okay.
The parents who will bury their daughter tomorrow are not okay.
The girl who is getting married this Thursday with a huge chunk of her heart missing (when it should be overflowing) because her father and brother were murdered last week, she is not okay.
Yes are strong, and we will manage,
Because whether or not my naïve heart can admit it, we are accustomed to the sound of crickets in response to our cries.
But, we are not okay.
But, you can ask.
Oh, please ask.
Ask us if we’re okay, show us that you truly want to know.
Make an effort to know when innocent people are dying, make an effort to say that it’s not ok, regardless of the religion, race, gender.
Show me that even if you can’t understand my pain, you are willing to acknowledge it
Show me that my naïve heart should never compromise
And show me that you are not satisfied with being kept in the dark.
Because we all know that there is enough darkness out there,
and we are all vulnerable in the dark,
and my shadow can easily be mistaken for yours, and vise versa.
So tonight I am wounded,
and I am asking for a little light.