KJ Hannah Greenberg

I am (not) okay

I am okay. I am a bat Hashem and my Father in Heaven guides my life.

I am not okay. “Friends” all over the world have: moved on to other topics or have insisted that Israel ought not to fully defend itself. Some have even publicly sided with Ishmael.

I am okay. The number and kinds of chesed generated by Am Yisrael for her brothers and sisters is astounding. I read, somewhere, that more people are trying to fly into Israel than to flee.

I know, too, that my local Nshei chapter continues to organize food drives for displaced persons, to gather gear for soldiers, and to organize Tehillim meetings. Children help cook and say prayers. Menfolk not enlisted drive goods to fronts.

What’s more, our kitten’s foster mom puts hours and hours, daily, into trying to rehome the dogs and cats left behind when their human companions were murdered or kidnapped. We are a nation of kindness.

I am not okay. Some of my publishers and editors have been corresponding with me as though I am not in a war zone. I told one magazine editor I didn’t care about the interview (concerning my writing process and the history of my publications) that she was planning to post and that she should proceed without any additional approval from me per her edits of my remarks.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for a publisher, with whom I’ve worked on books, to say anything at all, to me, about this crisis. Saying nothing is taking a side.

I am okay. I breath, therefore I pray. I say Tehillim. I try to encourage other Israelis in their goings-on concurrent with setting limits so I can retain my mental health. As a former rhetoric (communications) professor, I “get” people’s emotions. However, as a grandma who is not a trained therapist, I must safeguard myself whenever I lend a listening ear.

I am not okay. Certain muckety-mucks, initially, spoke against Israel’s enemies. At present, however, they are fawning over those other people who are baby killers, rapists, and murderers.

I am okay. I have two hands with which to cook for people who have less than me and to box packaged goods for our brave IDF members. My equally senior husband, BH, b’ayin tova, can drive comestibles from us to pick up points. Those members of my family who are not serving on the fronts are actively joining with people of good moral conscious.

I am not okay. Apparently, as prophecy has stated, Israel is alone. The world never learned/cared about the Holocaust. The world doesn’t seem to care, now. Political confederates are increasingly abandoning Israel despite declarations made an hour, a day or a week ago.

I am okay. Last night, I celebrated Rosh Chodesh with an amazing group of women. We shared Dvrai Torah, listened to inspiring music, and thanked The Aibishter for allowing us to live in Eretz Yisrael. Torah is our life force. It belongs to all of us.

I am not okay. Perverse people exist who think nothing of torturing children, beheading babies, shooting young people attending a concert, or gunning down grandparents. Increasing numbers of reports are surfacing that most of the innocents who were killed were first tortured. The filthy souls who committed those atrocities hold themselves as beyond international accords of war. We are combating terrorists. There are no “freedom fighters.”

Meanwhile, my people, contrariwise, drop leaflets encouraging civilians to take flight before their neighborhoods are bombed. My people reopened water portals so that the enemy’ population might survive. My people, in general, try very hard to limit collateral damage, to safeguard a population that, via coercion or inclination, identify with our morally wrong foes.

I am okay. HaKadosh Baruch Hu has already blessed us with rain. Our prayers are heard whether they are answered in a way in which we want or not.

Besides, I woke up this morning. My eyes work as do my limbs and organs. The prayers of gratitude with which I start each day are rooted in my reality. BH!

I am not okay. Some of our soldiers lack all of the equipment that they need. Nonetheless, they bravely leapt from shul, from home, and from abroad to defend us.

I am okay. Stories of achdut abound. A secular Jew delivered, without prompting, a lost package of medicine to an elderly religious Jew. A religious Jew stayed up all  night to make sure that sleeping bags, duct tape, and other necessities would get to a battalion, many of whose members are on a different part of the religious array as him, as soon as possible.

When superficialities disappear, we more easily recall that we are one family. Hashkafot don’t matter. Origins make no difference. Hashem is our Judge. It’s our job to embrace each other.

I am not okay. I have a son on one front and a son-in-law on another.

I am okay. I have the handrails of halacha to help me through my day. Each law strengthens my connection to G-d. That connection, in turn, fortifies me.

I am not okay. It takes effort for me to shower, to eat, to write, to edit. Most of my responses to my professional associates are short or are altogether absent.

I am okay. Am Yisrael Chai. I am Am Yisrael. I live Eretz Yisrael. Everything Hashem does is for my Klal’s good.

About the Author
KJ Hannah Greenberg has been playing with words for an awfully long time. Initially a rhetoric professor and a National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar, she shed her academic laurels to romp around with a prickle of imaginary hedgehogs. Thereafter, her writing has been nominated once for The Best of the Net in poetry, three times for the Pushcart Prize in Literature for poetry, once for the Pushcart Prize in Literature for fiction, once for the Million Writers Award for fiction, and once for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. To boot, Hannah’s had more than forty books published and has served as an editor for several literary journals.
Related Topics
Related Posts