Natalie Menaged
Natalie Menaged

No more pushing

Rabbi Avigdor Hayut meets Israeli police officer Rami Alwan who saved his life during the Mount Meron crush. Photo by Flash90.
Rabbi Avigdor Hayut meets Israeli police officer Rami Alwan who saved his life during the Mount Meron crush. Photo by Flash90.

This is not a post about blame. This is not a post about the victims, or the traumatized survivors, or the police, or the government. This is not a post to explain why Hashem sends suffering.

This is about the lesson we must learn from the terrible tragedy that has befallen our nation. A tragedy to which we are all connected. A tragedy that did not happen in a vacuum.

No more pushing. No more shoving. No more honking.

No more shoulders, no more elbows. No more seeing right through someone.

Our country is too small, we say. Our government doesn’t build wide enough roads, we say.

Not enough buses. Not enough appointment slots.

Our enemies are out to get us. We have to be the best.

So we push. We push on.

And yet.

A mother is without her sons.

A child is without his father.

A bride without her groom.

A teen without his friend.

A survivor shaking in the night.

 

We don’t know why. We can’t understand why.

And yet.

We are obligated to learn. We are obligated to grow. We are obligated to change.

With a smile. With a pause. With a reckoning.

You go first. I can wait another moment. Let me help you with that bag.

I know we can do this. I see it in the sensitivity with which we have treated one another in the past few days.

The smile of the stranger. The arm holding open the elevator. The fraternal sigh at the checkout counter. The gentle tones.

Lines of blood donors. Tel Avivians in Bnei Brak shiva homes. The hug of a broken father and a Druze policeman.

We can do this.

For more than a year, we could not freely breathe the fresh air. We could not revel in the glory of a crowd. We feared for our lungs, we watched our loved ones gasp. But we didn’t learn.

Let’s learn now. No more pushing.

About the Author
Natalie Menaged is the Assistant Director at Israel XP, the gap year program of Bar Ilan University. She lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
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