So tonight I am wounded

Tonight I am wounded

My heart bleeds and my blood boils

and yes I say tonight, because tonight I finally let it through

I took down the walls for a brief moment to let in the hatred and the lies and the tragedy

and then I scrambled to rebuild brick by brick

but not before shaving away pieces of myself

pieces that I certainly cannot afford to spare

So in an attempt to gain a bit back,

in an attempt to feel as though I spoke, instead of the usual swallow,

tonight, please, let me share a few things with you.



I am wounded by the loss of all innocent life

Whether it be Jewish, Palestinian, French, Syrian

you name it, I’ve cried for it, whether you believe it or not

And now, no, I am not crying over the lack of Facebook profile pictures sporting the Israeli flag in a show of solidarity for the recent violence

nor am I scoffing at the abundance of french flags

because Facebook is not, and will never be, the vehicle for when and how and where I feel my pain,

and therefore, I hope, that others are not accurately representing their pain solely within the realm of social media

But, yes, I am livid

because no, we do not need a Facebook nod to feel heard

we do, however, expect an international nod

we do expect that when an 18-year-old sweet faced American student studying abroad in Israel is brutally murdered, simply for being Jewish (or American, whichever offends you less and infuriates you more) that the world leaders, or at the very least those of his own country, will have a few things to say about it. Just a few.

He was murdered in his spiritual homeland, his body was returned and buried in his physical homeland, and it was all done to the background music of crickets in Washington.

That enrages me. That is boiling my blood to an increasing rate.

And I see the immediate necessity of a simmer.

Because I also see that if it boils over, or if any of it is spilt (Gd forbid),

it will be met by the sounds of crickets from the place that it stemmed.



We are told that we are all alone here

We are told that the world doesn’t care about us

And I don’t want to believe that

if for no other reason than the fact, and I am willing to admit, that I am still a bit naïve at heart

and I still want to believe that the world really does care, and really will see the truth


But with each day, with each new murder, each new deafening silence,

I’m left wondering

Why didn’t anyone from across the world ask me if I’m okay today?

Why didn’t my family call me frantic to say, we heard a girl in her 20’s was murdered today in Israel (Yes, actually happened today)


Why aren’t my college friends and my distant cousins and my former coworkers wondering how I’m doing amidst all the recent violence?

Well, I know it is because they are not aware of any violence.

because their country doesn’t deem it important news

because Jews dying is like the coming of winter

yes, it may be a bit cold, it may even be a bit sudden

But hey, it happens without fail, its expected

And unlike the coming of winter (which is all California news talks about the minute the temperature reaches below 70), it doesn’t need a separate mention

They all run their Holocaust remembrance day specials every year don’t they?

Obligation discharged

No one is interested in hearing more, enough already, right?

So, the people I love, the people who love me, they will not hear of this horror

They won’t call me in a panic or message me on good old Facebook

They trust their screens to tell them if they need to worry

and the need to worry is reserved for innocent lives who don’t live in my tiny piece of land



And for this one I have to first address my fellow Jews

And my naïve heart must step aside for a moment so that I can admit the ugly truth which seems to be

that we are alone

that no one is going to care

and so it seems we must care even more

and so

and so we must stop kidding ourselves that there is any difference between us

Whether you are here or there

You know why?

Because we marched to the gas chambers together

Because our enemies will never care if we are religious, not religious, wearing a kippah, wearing nothing, have dark hair, blonde hair, a big nose or a perfect tiny button nose

A Jew is a Jew.

And so

What you believe in is a separate conversation

Whether you are Orthodox or Atheist

Whether you are Zionist or Pro Palestine, or both

Our enemies will not stop to ask you what kind of Jew you are or aren’t

There will not be any less crickets if the blood of an assimilated Jew is spilt than for the blood of a religious one

And apparently, there will be the same amount of outrage when a Jew from your country dies as when one from mine does. Which is no outrage (see point number 2).

And so, put as many walls between us as you like

but understand that those walls are transparent

and I can see you

but ask yourself this,

Those people that you would rather allow on your side of the wall, can they see you as well?


And last.

No, I am not okay.

We are not okay.

The mother who just buried her son is not okay.

The parents who will bury their daughter tomorrow are not okay.

The girl who is getting married this Thursday with a huge chunk of her heart missing (when it should be overflowing) because her father and brother were murdered last week, she is not okay.

Yes are strong, and we will manage,

Because whether or not my naïve heart can admit it, we are accustomed to the sound of crickets in response to our cries.

But, we are not okay.

But, you can ask.

Oh, please ask.

Ask us if we’re okay, show us that you truly want to know.

Make an effort to know when innocent people are dying, make an effort to say that it’s not ok, regardless of the religion, race, gender.

Show me that even if you can’t understand my pain, you are willing to acknowledge it

Show me that my naïve heart should never compromise

And show me that you are not satisfied with being kept in the dark.

Because we all know that there is enough darkness out there,

and we are all vulnerable in the dark,

and my shadow can easily be mistaken for yours, and vise versa.

So tonight I am wounded,

and I am asking for a little light.

About the Author
Born and raised in sunny California, Reena Bracha traded in her beach attire for the slightly more modest approach of orthodox Judaism. Her first love is Israel and her second, her ukulele. She recently made Aliyah and currently lives in Jerusalem.
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