Ari M. Solomont
Trying to change the world, one revolution at a time

Social Media Sensitivities in Sensitive Times

As a follow-up to my pre-Purim post, since the war began, I have struggled with how to reflect life on Facebook. With so much ongoing stress, suffering, and heartache, how can we post pictures that in real life usually reflect an alternative reality?

When do personal pictures and posts of our daily doings become too insensitive to share? I’m usually an avid FB poster, if only to stay in contact with family and friends and to be able to look back for myself to see where I have been. I love Facebook memories!
After the war began, it took us over a week to post the beautiful pictures from our grandson’s brit milah that took place on October 6th. Our children and sons-in-law have served in the IDF/IAF and are still operational. That is stressful. Our married daughters, whom we call “warrior mamas,” have to manage without their husband’s daily support. That is even more than stressful. In Israel, there are no 7 degrees of separation. There is no one who does not know someone. We have been to funerals, shiva houses and shared in the pain and suffering of our friends, and as residents of Ashkelon, the war in Gaza is on our doorstep. We can hear it, literally! We feel it, literally! And still, we are trying to live our best life. At times, it all feels strange and surreal. How can we ride, walk on the beach, celebrate smachot, dance, or even crack a smile? Our sons and daughters are still on the battlefield! There are still hostages in Gaza! 175 Days! It makes me want to scream!
In a frank conversation with one of our dear friend’s sons, who’s been deep in the battle since October 7th, set us straight. He said that he and his fellow soldiers are fighting like lions to find the hostages and neutralize the terrorists so that we can live our lives. And he said that he and his teammates get very upset when they hear that we are not. They fight, and we are in the fight, so that we may live. There is no alternative. Live life in our land with our families, in our homes, free from terror and be normal. And he is right.
May be an image of 2 people, bicycle and textWe can’t pretend. There is trauma, there is suffering, sadness, fear, and pain. We need to find ways to live life, move forward, while keeping the hostages, the injured, those who have sacrificed, those we have lost, our soldiers and commanders who are still in the fight at the top of our consciousness. Daily prayers, personal or communal, help. Be conscientious and make a note to yourself, and others that signifies each day, of how many days our hostages and their families have been waiting, and suffering. The enemy has one goal, and it’s that we should leave, hide, and die. And that’s not going to happen. So, move forward and ride on we will. Am Yisrael Chai….and post away! #bringthemhomenow
About the Author
Rabbi Ari Solomont is the Director of International Admissions for Yeshiva University in New York. Prior to making aliyah eighteen years ago, Ari was a licensed nursing home administrator and the executive director of New England NCSY. (National Conference of Synagogue Youth) Well known as an expert in the field of informal education, Rabbi Ari has been a sought-after consultant for several national and international educational initiatives. Rabbi Ari's warmth, humor, love of people, and compassion have inspired generations of Jewish youth. Rabbi Solomont is an off road cycling enthusiast who can often be found riding through the Hills of the Holy Land and along trails across the globe. He and his wife Sarah Beth live in Ashkelon, have 4 children and 7 grandchildren. Their youngest daughter recently completed her service in the Israeli Air Force. [The views and opinions expressed by Rabbi Solomont on this blog are his own and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any organization or institution to which he is affiliated]