Mori Sokal
Mori Sokal

The Lists Get Longer

A few lists came to mind this morning, other than what I need to get from the store before the snow which is only messing with us. The first list I thought of as I glanced through the news quickly before going to shacharit was the one for sick people. I am not talking about people who have gotten sick and we pray that just as the illness was given, it should be taken away. I am referring to those people who are in the hospital because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time — or the right place at the right time, in order for them to get wounded (a blessing — at least they weren’t killed) in a terrorist attack. This list does not stop growing, because the monsters (as one article asserts they should be called) [not endorsing the source, just the article] do not stop, even for bad weather. This list makes me shiver and ask, just as many people I know who share their frustration, fear and anger by asking, “ad matai” — when will it stop?

The next list is what we do about it. I love this list, because the ways in which we defend ourselves keep getting more creative. Earlier this year, we had a battle trained mayor who defended his citizens, tourists who knew how to run for help (and chase down — and catch!- the bad guys), as well as “regular” people on the street, who have been using everything from nunchucks to umbrellas to stop terrorists. Last night, someone used a shopping cart to keep two killers out of a supermarket, preventing further carnage from monsters who had just attacked two women outside the store — which sadly added two more names to the list of injured people to pray for.

Then, of course, there are the everyday soldiers and guards who are forced to defend citizens with ‘real’ weapons and then have to pay the price of doing their jobs. While part of me wishes that the guard who, this past weekend, killed the 13-year old in the line of duty had been able to merely stop her, I neither blame nor judge him for his actions. Only last week, two other brainwashed and damaged teenagers attacked women with knives, killing a mother of six and putting a pregnant woman in the hospital. Knowing that, would you stop to think “hmm, how should I stop this lunatic who is running at me with a knife in a way that won’t kill her,” or would you do whatever you felt you needed to at the time to prevent an attacker from hurting you and your people?

Speaking of having to defend ourselves for defending ourselves, my final list is about all those countries, some of which are supposedly our friends, whose representatives keep telling us how to defend ourselves and, basically, that we shouldn’t. This is another list that keeps growing, letting us know that our list of friends keeps shrinking. I deliberately took a few days’ break from reading the news when I saw Der Stürmer I mean The New York Times’ headline about Saturday’s ‘incident’ (well, if it’s an incident when they murder us in our beds, including mothers and babies, then I’m downgrading the guard’s actions to the same level, because it certainly wasn’t murder), which read that an Israeli guard shot a teenage girl — no mention of her being the attacker, of it being self-defense, just it must be our fault for being Jewish.

I am getting sick to the point of nausea that we keep getting attacked, injured and killed, but it’s all ‘poor them’ and ‘horrible Jews’. Even at American conferences having nothing to do with the “Israeli-Arab conflict,” Jews are attacked. A compliment goes out to AFP, whose headline showed that the attacker was the girl, not the guard. These kids of headlines seem to be few and far between; is it any wonder, when so many reports of the terrorism that happens in Israel start with what the defenders did, that people get it into their heads that Israelis are the aggressors? Or where the reports start with “X number die as bulldozer (or other inanimate object — knife, bullet) kills them.” Really?? Those things are the cause of death, not the monstrous murderer holding/using them?! Talk about guns killing people…because surely it wasn’t Arabs, if the victims were Jews. What if other terrorist acts were reported that way? Then, I am sure, there would be worldwide outrage. “Thousands dead as planes hit buildings”, or “Hundreds die when bullets intersect with their bodies in a crowded theatre.”

I don’t mean to belittle other tragedies in the world, but those headlines don’t happen, just like the fact that it’s surely not anti-Semitism that causes a Jewish teacher to be attacked, or Jews who are shopping in a kosher market that is nowhere near “Palestine” to be murdered.

A final list. I just heard that the 23-year old (I can’t say woman, she is just too young) who was stabbed in last night’s attack didn’t make it. So one more dreadful and growing list is that of dead Jews, more people for us to mourn.

Anyone who doesn’t think things look good for us out there, raise your hands. Great. Now anyone who thinks that the only list they’d like to be on is the one where we get to defend ourselves, raise your flag.

About the Author
Mori Sokal is a FOURTEEN year veteran of Aliyah, mother of three wonderful children (with her wonderful husband) and is an English teacher in both elementary and high school in the Gush Etzion-Jerusalem area. She has a Masters’ degree in teaching, is a copyeditor, and has published articles in Building Blocks, the Jewish Press magazine.
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