Tired of being tired

I’m tired. Straight out exhausted.

I am tired of clipping my gun to my belt every morning before I leave for work. I am a tour guide who now spends most of his time planning trips and projects in an office, not an active soldier, policeman, or even a security guard. But work often takes me to the Old City, to historic sites near less-than-friendly neighborhoods — and even to regular city streets whose people and safety I have been forced to doubt.

I am tired of debating whether or not I can have a drink outside of my house, for fear that if something happens I will not be able to respond correctly. I am tired of wondering if I might need that drink when trouble strikes, because I don’t know if I am actually brave enough or calm enough to put myself in the line of fire. I am tired of hoping that I will hit my target if required.

I am tired of holy sites being turned into sites of conflict. Instead of being sacred places that unite all people, they have been used somehow to widen the gap. I am tired of debating how to fix this problem instead of simply praying together.

I am tired of receiving phone calls, text messages, and Facebook messages from family, friends, and campers asking me worriedly if I am alright. Don’t misunderstand me — your love is what gives me strength to get up after days like yesterday. I’m just tired of you having to worry about me.

I am tired of having to take sides. Israeli, Palestinian, Jewish, Muslim, right-wing, left-wing, one-state, and two-state. Different opinions make the world a more interesting place, and challenging each other forces us to reevaluate and make sure that we are acting appropriately. I am tired of being placed in a mime’s box — self created, invisible boundaries of silence that we don’t dare cross.

I am tired of not doing more to understand or help “the other side of the conflict.” (I am also tired of knowing that writing a line like this generally means that the comments at the bottom of this blog will be filled with generalizations and/or hate speech against myself and others).

I am tired of “peace” being a dirty word. Same with “religious,” “settler,” and “refugee.”

I am tired of feeling numb and moving on with my day after a terror attack as if nothing happened. Until the moment when I realize that I am somehow — in identity, through a friend, or quite simply — connected to one of the victims. Then I feel absolutely drained.

I am tired of not knowing what to write after those innocent people are brutally murdered. Not a blog, not a Facebook post, not a tweet. My emotions get lost in the wave of grief felt across the world, and I feel like my words are wasted; useless among the barrage of columns and articles that follow.

I am tired of not having answers, or at least having a nice way of wrapping up a post like this. Words of hope, happiness, and inspiration have been eluding me over the past few months.

But I feel like I need to try.

Love and kindness. Peace and serenity. Shabbat shalom.

About the Author
Yoni Zierler moved to Israel in 2004, for his last year of high-school, and officially made aliyah a couple of years later. He is a licensed Israeli tour guide, who loves connecting others to the beauty and history of the land. Yoni is a proud alumnus of the StandWithUs fellowship, who loves reading, music, and playing harmonica in his spare time.