Rockets are raining down on Israel. It’s terrifying. What do you even say to comfort your loved ones? How do Israelis live day to day and actually look toward the next one?
Over and over these words keep coming back to me,
I promise you my little girl, this will be the last war” אני מבטיח לך, ילדה שלי קטנה”
“שזאת תהיה המלחמה האחרונה
The Last War המלחמה האחרונה, who can forget the tender solemn resolve of this song which warmed our hearts after the Yom Kippur War in 1973?
This was to reassure us there weren’t going to be any more wars. As if to say, the fighting is over my little girl, you’re safe now. But indeed Israel has endured numerous wars and terrorist attacks since then. We are sorrowfully under attack once again. We mourn for all who have been killed, and pray for the recovery of all who have been injured. We are devastated, but not defeated.
Israelis have amazing resilience and a remarkable way of coping.
Song, laughter, and humor are all part of making it through and living meaningful lives.
How can anyone possibly sing or laugh or make jokes when hunkered down in tight uncomfortable shelters or stairways, or wherever they manage to go for some sense of safety? How can they when sirens are screaming and rockets are thundering above? Maybe it’s that thing called chutzpah! It’s the idea of promise, we’re going to make it! Not only will we make it, we’ve figured out a way to live, not just survive and we’ll never give up hope. Everyone responds differently to the trauma. It’s ok to say something funny and lighten the load. A smile goes a long way to ease the pain, even if only briefly providing some respite. Here are examples of some of the messages sent my way from loved ones in their shelters.
And, of course, Naomi Shemer gave us song, as only she could. Her poetic lyrics live on
זה נכון כאור בצהריים as we look to מחר Tomorrow
…All of this will come tomorrow if not today, and if not tomorrow, then the day after tomorrow. It’s not a fable, not a dream כל זה אינו משל ולא חלום. Tomorrow, when the army takes its uniform off our hearts will be standing at attention. Afterwards, each man will build with his two hands what he dreamed about today.
We must hold dearly to our inner ability to find humor and song. For that’s what makes and keeps us human! It gives us hope to live and to dream… and that gives us strength, so we may always come together to rejoice and sing!
!עם ישראל חי