It doesn’t matter where we stand

Good morning world. This past week has been emotional — not knowing if Shira Yael bat Leora Sarah and her husband Yishai would be okay. And the other people injured at the bus stop on the last night of Chanukah. We are so intertwined even though we haven’t met. We share the same strong biblical name. Shira Yael’s mother is Australian, like me, and her father was my brother’s MTA madrich back in ’96. Their beautiful baby that breathed life for so few days and in this tragedy, in this moment – this family is so unbelievably strong. It’s so clear to them what the baby should be named. And they share this pain with Am yisrael, and the ripple effect of their pain and their love brings tears to mother’s everywhere who hold their babies a little bit tighter. And its so personal and they bring us in. So private, the loss of a child, and still the grandfather’s words and the baby’s name is a lesson for all of us — we are a nation forever. How do I internalize this and how do we act as a nation that lives on, in the face of tragedy after tragedy?

This week, I watched a short video from Rachelle Frenkel, on how to comfort the bereaved. Finding the balance, saying the right thing. When her son was kidnapped, I lived in Los Angeles and we held our breath hoping for a miracle. And when we heard that Naftali, Eyal and Gilad were murdered, I was with my mum and we cried. Rachelle’s words strengthened us then and still now and we were united around the world and we in return, we davened and we wanted to take away their pain but we could not.

On Wednesday night, I was messaging a friend and as I was writing, I noticed it was raining. I wrote to her “Is it raining?!?!” And she wrote, “yes, LOL, I just noticed that too! Pouring!” to which I wrote back, “I looked this am and said 0% chance rain” to which she wrote, “ha, G-d had other plans” Moments later, I learned that the baby passed away — he was murdered. Hashem couldn’t hold back his tears. And again, Am Yisrael is united in mourning. And yet, rain is a bracha. Rain. We get wet, we cry. And we are here for you. And Hashem is present and here for you. And it hurts. And still, in all of this — we live on.

In an hour is another funeral in Yerushalayim. Yossi Cohen a’h. 19. His father’s warmth and kindness radiates as he speaks on the news. The picture of Yossi, his peyot, he is charedi, his uniform is almost an oxymoron, and yet it’s not. We are one. This is how we live on. We laugh out loud at Comedy for Koby, and we feel blessed with what we have, and we stand together against terrorism — whether its in Pittsburgh or Israel. We feel each other, irrespective of where we are standing.

About the Author
Yael Woolf has recently moved to Israel with her family, from Los Angeles, CA.
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