Recently I was in Yerushalyim with my children. It was a great day. The sun was shining. There was a gentle breeze in air. An air of hope and happiness was surrounding us. There were people relaxing in outdoor cafes lazily drinking their coffees; happily debating the finer points of life, with that blissful look of having shed their heavy winter garments for the final time. The street cleaners were going about their business with a new spring in their step, and even the pigeons were happily accepting leftover scraps. I was sitting contentedly with my children in an outdoor café enjoying a shwarma; I was enjoying being part of this eclectic scene that merging before my eyes and I was enjoying being part of this great symphony of life. Like I said it was a great day.
Eventually we finished our shwarma’s and we started walking on Yaffo. We were enjoying the sun, the warmth, the day, the freedom. The mood around me was joyous. There is nothing that Israeli’s like to do more than celebrate life on a warm sunny day. Everyone was calm, relaxed and happy to be alive.
We came to a traffic island with a bunch of random people who had no apparent connection to one another, and we all came to a standstill waiting for the light to change. We all stood there doing what people do when they are stuck together on a small traffic island waiting for that magical green light to appear so that we could all unfreeze ourselves and move on. Random thoughts filled my brain as I stood there waiting for the light to change. Ordinary random thoughts like: wow! I wonder where she got that scarf? And: I wonder if he realizes that his shirt and pants just do not go together. And, Oyish, I got dirt on my new shoes. And: did my son remember to wash his hands after he went to the toilet? And: I wonder if it is going to rain tomorrow.
Random everyday thoughts. Just like everyone else was doing. All of a sudden we heard the weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-weeee of an ambulance siren. We were about 20 people standing together frozen in time waiting for the light to change. In that one second we became bonded. As dread entered every cell of our being and fear spread its poisonous toxins into our souls. My stomach contracted, and my eyes darted about, like a deer caught in the head lights of a car.
My fear reflected itself in the eyes of my fellow travellers. In those few seconds we were all united. That fear which we all felt became something that united us. In that second we became a cohesive group, and not just a crowd of random individuals that were trapped in time waiting for the light to change.
Thank God it was a singular siren, on its way to a singular event (Hopefully for something good). The light changed and we all became unfrozen and moved on with our lives.
My question though is why can’t we channel this feeling of unity that we all share in times of crisis, and transfer it into a more positive and constructive vessel. Why can’t we be united because we all have great scarves? Or because we all have children that don’t always to remember to wash their hands after they go to the toilet? Or because we all have some relative that picks their nose?
OR BECAUSE WE ARE ALL ONE PEOPLE. ONE NATION. ONE HEART! Let’s take that which unites us and turn it to a positive venue, not out of fear or out of terror but out of love and understanding. Our enemies are unknowingly and most certainly unwillingly giving us the keys to defeat them. Lets use them.