Talya Woolf

The Certainty of Being Jewish

Yesterday I came home to Efrat with my family. We had been on a wonderful tiyul (trip) in Haifa with my Russian cousins, one of whom was in town with his daughter from Belgium. We had gone to Park Nesher (a beautiful national park with bridges spanning valleys) to hike with our small kids during our holiday of Passover.

Picture of the Mediterranean Sea from Park Nesher near Haifa. Photo credit: Talya Woolf

Around 7 p.m., we reached the main intersection outside of Efrat (where we were staying for the chag) and traffic was seriously backed up. There were cars parked everywhere, dozens of people walking back toward my lovely little town, many with Israeli flags draped over their shoulders. With four children in the car and memories of the day, the reasoning for the mass of people escaped us — so we called my father-in-law, who reminded us of the tragedy.

“The levaya,” he said. For those unfamiliar with Hebrew, a levaya is a funeral, and this one was for Rina, 15, and Maia, 20, the two Dee sisters who were murdered the other day (their mother, Leah, who was in the same car as them, passed away from her injuries today).

Maia and Rina Dee – sisters murdered for being Jewish. (courtesy of the family)

The Dees were setting out on a family trip over Passover – not unlike us and most other Israelis – when the terrorist shot at their car, waited until they crashed, and then fired almost two dozen more bullets into their car to make sure the terrified inhabitants were dead.

Sample of bullets shot into the Dee car.

Since I heard of the shooting (traveling around Jerusalem), it’s been sitting on my mind. I’ve felt numb, impotent, sadness, but most of all, anger.

I think of my children and whether I’m having them and raising them just to lose them in a dozen years (Gd forbid) to hatred-filled people who like to walk up to a car, looks three women in the eyes, and fire twenty-two bullets into them (one of whom was just a teenager). These animals do not respect the value of a Jewish life. Don’t respect the value of any life. Period.

These are the same people who abuse and steal their children’s future as they teach them to sing and dance with the joy of murdering Jews. I do not exaggerate. I don’t need to. It’s literally all been seen before on the internet. And honestly, sadly, they can keep doing this for years (and already have been) because there’s no. reason. for. them. to. stop.

“I did not know if I would go out alive, because they had so much hate against us.” So said the German tourists who almost got lynched by the Muslim mob in Nablus. “Don’t hurt us. We aren’t Jews!” they cried and pleaded for their lives.

It seems those few German individuals finally learned what we go through daily.

As we Jews sleep in our beds (Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13).

Walk along our beaches (Alessandro Parini, 36).

Get a drink at a bar (Tomer Morad, 28, Eytam Magini, 27, Barak Lufan, 35).

Trek through forests (Ori Ansbacher, 19).

Wait for busses (Yaakov Yisrael Paley, 6, and Asher Menahem Paley, 8).

Pray in a synagogue (Eli, 48, and Natalie Mizrahi, 45, Rafael Ben-Eliyahu, 56, Asher Natan, 14, Shaul Chai, 68, Irina Korolova, 59, Ilya Sosonsky, 26).

*              *               *               *               *              *             *

This is my reality.

I am Jewish – I am a target. My husband is Jewish – he is a target. My young children are Jewish – they are targets. My close friends are Jewish – they are all targets. It doesn’t matter if we live in Jerusalem, Efrat, Netanya, Tel Aviv, Kochav Yaakov, Sderot, or any numbers of other cities around Israel. True, there are terrorist attacks against Jews all the time worldwide, but it is especially heinous in our own homeland where we have literally run to be protected.

People expect to be safe at home.

But we are not and we won’t be. I guarantee that these won’t be the last tears we shed; it won’t be the last time we have trouble breathing because it hurts too much; it won’t be the last time we worry about our kids leaving the house; it most assuredly won’t be the last funeral we attend. The last certainty is – if we haven’t already personally known the victim – we will soon.

I’d truly like to say, may we know no more sorrow. I really would.

May they never be forgotten.

About the Author
Talya Woolf is an eight-year Olah with four spirited children and a fantastic husband. She is a writer, American-licensed attorney, handgun instructor, amateur photographer, and artist. She is politically confusing, Modern Orthodox (though she doesn't dress the part), and ardent Zionist (ZFB). She enjoys spending time with family, friends, running, photography, and reading about highly contagious diseases and WWII.
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