Selfie sticks, nun-chucks and umbrellas. These are what Israeli citizens are resorting to use when attempting to disarm a knife-wielding terrorist. In today’s “day of rage”, one terrorist was subdued via the use of pepper spray and a selfie stick in Jerusalem. In Rana’ana today, Mickey Ruhani beat a terrorist with the only weapon he had: his umbrella. We are a resilient people, and sadly, we are not strangers to this current situation. I personally have lived in Israel during the 2nd intifada, one war, and three “Operations” (Cast Lead, Pillar of Defense, and most recently, Protective Edge).
Last week, during the holiday of Sukkot, I was privileged (along with 50,000 other people) to hear Jon Bon Jovi dedicate his new song: “We don’t run” to the people of Tel Aviv. He declared that it should be our new “fight song.”
Freshly inspired, I took Bon Jovi’s advice to heart and went to the Western Wall at 5 AM to pray Hoshana Rabba prayer services, even though earlier that evening a terrorist had murdered two Jews in the Old City. I was grateful to see upon arrival that hundreds of people were also undeterred and came to the Western Wall to pray.
Over these last very painful few days, I have noticed that streets and shops are virtually empty. A friend shared a picture on Facebook of what is normally a bustling market on Mondays and now was a desolate and empty shuk. This all makes me very upset. I should not have to say “the wayfarer’s prayer” just to go to the supermarket or to school. I should not have to check in with friends or family every time I get on a bus. This should not be my reality or anyone’s reality!
I realize it is scary to go outside right now. But, we as a people have been through hard times and we will get through it together. If we don’t go out, we are causing even more suffering amongst our own people. Shops will be forced to close, tourist venues will lose. Our morale will continue to plummet.
I am not saying to go charging through the Damascus Gate or to go looking for trouble. Be safe. Stay alert. Arm yourself with a backpack on your back and a selfie stick and pepper spray at the ready. Go to the Shuk. Come to Ben Yehuda. Walk through Geulah. But please, DON’T RUN.