It’s almost 30 hours since images of blood-soaked prayer books, tallesim and tefillin inside a blood-soaked synagogue were seen around the world. Today we are all a bit more hardened after seeing the photos, videos and reading the eye-witness accounts of what happened in Har Nof yesterday. We wonder how those 5 families can possibly move on after yesterday’s massacre.
Receiving phone calls, emails and texts yesterday from The States and locally here, the same words were repeated: “they” won’t win by doing this, the Jewish people are strong, we will never understand why these people were killed – and of course- what is the world coming to?
Outside my Jerusalem window now the sky is blue without a cloud, the sun is shining, traffic is moving and I hear construction from the next building where my neighbor is doing a complete renovation of her 3 story apartment. Yesterday her Arab workers weren’t there, I don’t know why. They are working today, but it is quiet, not their normal shouting and bantering in Arabic which I’ve heard every day (except Shabbat) for the last 2 months. Down the street I hear the elementary school’s musical announcement that it is recess time – I didn’t hear this yesterday.
While everything today seems back to normal, what we thought was normal is long-gone, not just from yesterday. As I flipped channels this morning, I became engrossed listening to an interview of the American Navy Seal who is responsible for killing Osama Bin Ladan. He described what it was like to come face to face with this madman and then to ultimately kill him. As he spoke I thought, he’s handsome, young and looks like an average American guy, not the face of a hero who completed a dangerous mission that affected the world. His life will never be normal again.
Normal is this moment now. Normal is knowing that Jewish history includes me and you right now, wherever you live. Normal is freedom-loving people around the world who risk their lives for peace.
Normal is simply living.