Betsalel Steinhart

Praying this morning

Tefilla (prayer) this morning. Strangest tefilla outside of the IDF I’ve ever had.

How to describe it?  You could sense the tension, read the supplications, and hear the confused crying out.

I wonder how many other people saw in their mind those images of blood-soaked tallitot, tefillin and siddurim while davening?

How many other people shed tears over that this morning?

How many other people kept one eye on the door, wondering if an axe-wielding bloodthirsty religious maniac would storm through any second?

How many other people spent time during tefilla working out contingency plans of what to do if that happened? How to defend myself, where to run?

How hard was it to concentrate on the prayers this morning, yet how effective were they?  How many other people had one of the most meaningful and at the same time one of the most disjointed tefillot ever?

How many other people put away there Tallit and tefillin, wondering how we can ever make peace with such animals? Wondering if there will ever be an end to this?

How many other people, against their will, left the shul, and while walking to work were forced to look every Arab, no matter how well you know them, with suspicion? Will he suddenly use a knife on me?

To paraphrase Golda Meir, I can forgive them for hating us, but I cannot forgive them for turning me into a hater…

How many other people hate the fact that with no other choice available, all we do is sigh and move on with our day? Again?

How many other people?

About the Author
Betsalel Steinhart is a Licensed Tour Guide, and the Director of the Ramah Israel Institute for Ramah Israel. He lives in Bet Shemesh with his wife and five children.
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