In 1965, the iconic folk trio Peter, Paul, and Mary released a song called “See What Tomorrow Brings.” Over the past week, I have found myself going back to this song’s powerful yet depressing lyrics, which while written at a different time, are sadly ringing true even today.
“All good things must come to an endIf I could be there again For just a little while.
I hear voices in the airI wish that I could be there Maybe someday, I don’t know”
When my family made aliyah, 15 years ago, our main reason was to provide our children with a place where they could be proud Jews and where their contributions would have meaning. Sure, we all knew about the previous wars and confrontations, but in looking at the bigger picture, we knew that Israel was our true home and where we were meant to be.
After the events of this week, I have to be truthful and say that I have been second-guessing this decision. How could it be that in these times we are dealing with such hatred? How can we still be living in times when innocent people are being tortured and murdered simply for being Jewish? It still does not seem real, but sadly this is the reality. The song above states that “all good things must come to an end.” I am trying to be an optimist, even during these difficult times. I do not want to believe that this will be the case. Somehow, we continue to pray and to have faith that everything is going to return to normal and that yes, it will all eventually be okay.
Every day becomes harder though as the news keeps pouring in. How many funerals and shivas can one community bear? How many promising lives have been cut short due to these atrocities? I was born and raised as an observant Jew and faith has always played a major role in every part of my life. I continue to pray every day and I have said more Tehillim (psalms) this week then I think I ever have said before. I have to admit though, that it is getting harder and harder to go on. By the time we made Aliyah, I was an “over the hill” 30 year old and was not eligible for IDF service. In many ways I look at myself as lucky as I am not leaving my family to go to battle the enemy. In other ways though, there is a feeling of helplessness. Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to volunteer for an amazing organization called “Grilling for the IDF” which has prepared food for thousands of our soldiers. It did bring some relief to know that just maybe my efforts brought a little relief to a tired and scared soldier. It doesn’t seem like enough though. And what about all of those families whose husbands, fathers, siblings, and children have been sent to the front lines? This morning, I left my home early to go to the supermarket to get food for Shabbat. On my way back into our community, I rolled down my window and I thanked the guard who was there to protect us. I asked him if he needed anything, and he responded by just asking me to keep praying. That really seems like all we can do.
While we are thankful for the international support that Israel has received, it brings tears to watch the pro-Hamas demonstrations going on in the US and around the world. How can we live in a world with so much hate and disdain for human life? So many things just don’t make sense right now, and it is becoming increasingly challenging to keep going.
I for one am still holding out hope for all of Am Yisrael and really for the entire world that tomorrow will bring better news for us all. This cannot be the new long-term reality. We have invested too much to give up. But really, it is difficult to think about tomorrow, until we first get through today. We must all try though, and together make sure that for us, and for our children that tomorrow brings new hope and new visions for us all.
May we ALL have a peaceful Shabbat wherever we may be.