Shahar Azani
Storyteller, Strategic Consultant & Former Israeli Diplomat . A Jew.

My people

Those first few seconds after it was all over; what were they like? The eerie silence, that stench of death and ruin hovering puddles of blood, the blood of the innocent.

Seconds before the wailing of the sirens in the distance, just before the howling of politicians & cries of pain and grief, comes a realization, a shocking disbelief, that here we are, as we were.

Just when we thought we could immerse ourselves in the illusion.

Just as we imagined we could leave the past behind us, here it comes to haunt us.

It shattered the door as it came in and with it our sense of security.
It stormed in and sprayed fire all around, an ancient and stubborn fire of profound hatred, one which has been burning for millennia in the hearts and minds of many, all too many.

We are Jews. This is who we are. All of us. Those befallen are our brothers and sisters, just like 70 years ago, and 700 years ago. Just like in Paris, Berlin, London and elsewhere – we are the sacrificial lambs for others.

For generations they taught to hate us. A religious creed indeed.
No matter who we were, where we lived, what we did or looked like.
A pot of evil simmering and boiling – it’s doomed to spill.

Like a bubbling lava underneath our feet, threatening to erupt as a volcano, never knowing where and when. A special kind of red and foul lava, flowing in the veins of some, right where souls should reside.

Resilience.
We shall bid farewell to them, and kiss them goodbye.
We will shed a tear, maybe many, and those will flow down our cheeks and turn into fire. Our fire. The fire within, which has kept us alive, carrying us forth to a State of our own. The fire within, which forged us and galvanized us as a people, as a community, as a family, as ONE.

Resilience.
We are stronger than they are.
Our light shines brighter than the reach of their darkness.
Our hope as iron in all that is good and worthwhile.
Our humanity is our resilience.

L’Chayim we say, and that is exactly what we mean: To Life!
L’Chayim!

About the Author
Speaker, Author, Strategic Consulatant. Past Northeast Executive Director of StandWithUs. A Former Diplomat for Israel's Foreign Ministry in London, Jerusalem, Nairobi, Los Angeles and New York. A Storyteller, who's passionate about people, culture and politics.
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