Emily Levy-Shochat

No Silver Lining

No Silver Lining

I write these short essays as a way to get my head and heart around what is happening. As ideas come to me I jot them down. When, if, they lead me further down a path, I write. This entry is just that.

One day last week the term “silver lining” popped into my mind and and I began to write–

“It’s not time to sugar coat what has happened and is happening in Israel nor am I prone to sugar coating, but when I realize what we are living through and coping with there are things that bring a smile to my face, a warm feeling in my heart. They give strength. They are not sugar but vitamin D.

-It’s the letter from Orra, the now 89 -year old woman who tended my mother in her last 4 years. They shared a warmth that evolved into a loving friendship. They trusted and respected one another. And Orra included us- me, my brother and our families in her family. Last week she wrote to my sister-in-law “I am praying now for Emily. The home is empty, cleaned, heat on and furniture from lake home in storage. We can have the furniture moved in and it can house 6 people. She is welcome to stay there and bring who she wants. NO FEE. Just pay for the oil to heat the house. Just let me know. I have been sending food boxes with hot meals to the Ukraine in memory of Ann. What a mess this world is in. My love to you and Joel.

-It’s the daily, caring call of my brother

-It’s the calls and letters from grade school friends with whom I have had no contact for decades; and from family and friends, distant and close, from over the years

-It’s the ability to maintain some sense of normalcy- marketing, gardening, cleaning the pantries, dinner with friends (as long as there is enough room in the saferoom for all of us)

But today, I cannot see any silver lining. In addition to the “regular” daily news about hostages, victims and the missing, and the almost daily siren which sends us to a saferoom- sometimes to feel the house shake- we have begun to get reports of Army casualties.

This morning’s headline: 13 soldiers dead. 13 young lives ended as they did their job. The pain of, and for, the families and friends of these war victims is unfathomable. And, I fear, I know – these will not be the last ones.

No-no silver lining metaphor works for me today. I am not yet able to find the way to cope with the overwhelming tragedy of it all. I will, I know I will. But I also know that we’re living under a huge cloud. Yes, the days are mostly sunny and the evening skies starlit but a cloud, with no silver lining is with us all the time. For the people in the South the cloud sometimes turns gray or red from fire and smoke. For the families of the fallen soldiers it has turned black. And for all of us, anywhere in the country, the cloud always is lined with dark tones.

About the Author
Born in Liberty, New York, Emily made Aliya almost 50 years ago. Her career has focused on grassroots community development, educational and social services for populations at need and development of the non-profit sector in Israel including senior positions at the NCJW Research Center for Innovation in Education at Hebrew University, the Schwartz Program at Hebrew University, the Israel Movement for Reform Judaism, the Moriah Fund, the Honey Foundation for Israel, the Counseling Center for Women and the Israel Heart Fund. Emily currently serves on the Boards of Mercaz Olami, WZO Presidium, the JAFI Board of Governors, KKL-JNF and the Association for Ethiopian Jewry.
Related Topics
Related Posts