I had just finished shopping and I was waiting with all of my groceries for either a bus or a ride. All of a sudden and out of nowhere this woman comes up to me and starts shouting at me. “It’s all your fault.” She rages at me. I stared at her blankly. “Excuse me, what are you talking about?” I asked a little taken aback. “What is my fault?”
I get it. I’m not perfect. But what on earth could I have done to someone who I’ve seen once in my life to be publicly accosted like that?
“All the terror attacks, all the stabbings, all the car accidents that have happened in the last little while, are entirely all your fault!” She rages at me. “Anything that has happened to Am Yisrael is all because of you.”
Good to know that she doesn’t blame me for all of our troubled history. Just what has happened in the last little while. Wow, what a relief!
I saw the people who were waiting with me edge away a little bit, both from me and from her. She might be off her rocker, but I was the one who was responsible for all the terror attacks in the last little while. Meanwhile, I wanted to find a crater in the earth that would bury me alive.
“You and your hatred of Am Yisrael,” she continued to rage. “I can’t think of a punishment that would suit you. It’s all your fault.”
I held on to the little bit of self control and dignity that I had left, and didn’t respond physically or verbally to her grave accusations. Though I must admit it was very hard and the temptation was great. But I didn’t want anyone else confirming what she had just said. So I stayed silent. Thinking.
Thinking and silent. I could take this chance encounter as just that. A chance meeting with a crazy lady, who has me confused with Khaled Mashal Not that I can see the resemblances mind you. But okay.
Silent and thinking. Or I can take this as a subliminal message from the one upstairs, the ruler and master of the universe
It is not easy to be accused of these things. It is even less easy to acknowledge the truth of these words however farfetched they might seem to be. I can’t honestly say that I love every single Jewish person. I wish I could, I wish that I could put aside all of my petty annoyances and grievances toward the individual and concentrate on loving the whole.
Perhaps that is why I had to encounter this woman. I don’t think it was to tell me that I look like Khaled Mashal. Thank God, I think this woman came into my life to remind me that we are all part of the same nation, part of the same people. This person or that person might annoy me. This person or that person might think I bear a striking resemblance to some hairy unshaved male terrorist, but on the whole, we have to stick together. Now more than ever. Now is not the time for us to be divided. Now is the time for us to realize that Am Yisrael consists of many beautiful and wonderful yet different parts. Together we make up the whole. And it is the whole that shall prevail.
Our strength comes from our unity. Not from our discord. Now it is time to take my own advice.
Easier said than done.