Life is not an equal opportunity employer. Good and love are favored.
Optimism is no good unless it’s part of realism. Let’s not confuse being positive about the ending with assuming all’s OK now. We must think well about our safety so that we may live to enjoy the all is well that ends well.
If you ever held a baby, you know that innocence and being loving are part of the human makeup. Evil and hating are unnatural corruptions of us.
It takes extra effort to be wicked and angry. Turning away from evil and hatred takes effort, too, but it immediately pays back since it resonates with who you are. To be bad and hate may energize you, but it eats you.
That’s why people (soldiers) fighting for a good cause (saving lives), in the end, always triumph over those who try to end lives, who often surrender.
NB: Nice and good doesn’t always equal friendly and soft. The Sages teach that history shows that those who’re good to the bad end up being bad to the good. This is hard for people who always want to applaud both sides.
(Same idea as that democracy sometimes must combat anti-democrats, bigots, and supremacists to maintain itself. That’s a fight for equality.)
More than 1,500 Chamas terrorists infiltrated Israel with machine guns, mowing down mostly noncombatants, wounding nearly 3,000, and killing 900+. So, on average, each terrorist killed less than 1 civilian. No matter how indoctrinated with lies and hatred, it’s hard to play evil, convincingly.
Yes, Jews are seeing Miracles again, G^d’s Hand, and Atheists must credit Good Fortune, but a good ending is the only possible outcome, anyway.
To acknowledge the basic goodness of men who try to commit genocide and other crimes against humanity is not to render them innocent or to advocate not to stop them. Rather, it explains why they will not win, are often eager to surrender when cornered, and are truly guilty. If they were inherently wicked, they would have been as innocent as a vicious dog. But because of their good Souls, they are guilty of the atrocities committed.
Israelis who lost loved ones, whose close ones were injured, or even kidnapped and violated, and who have children and grandchildren going into battle, we know how hard it is. But we too need optimism to cry. To be sad/scared or cry is not the same as being hysterical, down, or numb.
Yes, on the Arab side, there is mourning too, but there is a huge moral discrepancy between SS soldiers and German bystanders being killed in a war and minorities being mowed down or gassed in genocides. Terrorists target civilians, while the IDF tries to not hit civilians. Mass murder is not the same as a mass calamity. It leaves people as dead, but ethics matter.
NB: Don’t call bloodthirsty people ‘animals.’ That’s degrading to animals. Don’t call the wicked ‘crazy.’ That’s degrading to those with mental illness.
Words to Strengthen Jewish Children in the Diaspora
Let’s talk about feelings, about being positive, and being hopeful. Our leaders and Rabbis talk a lot about tears and happiness, but often they can’t cry anymore or be happy. Never give up on your tears or happiness. Cry when you need to, and sing and dance when you like. Choose life.
Watching from afar always feels worse than being in the middle of it. You can’t do anything from a distance, and powerlessness feels very bad.
It can help you to draw pictures of your feelings.
Let no one obligate you to take in hurt from watching terrible pictures and listening to people you don’t know personally telling about their pain. You can get information without acquiring unnecessary distress. Read about it.
Without denying any bad feelings, you can also look for positive things. Johan Cruyff famously said: “Every disadvantage has an advantage.”
Many non-Jews around the world express deep solidarity. There is a lot of anger in Israel but also a lot of profound unity. In Israel, most Jews are not in danger at all, thanks to using our brains, planning, cohesion, the police, the military police, the army, and God’s Hand (religious people think).
When info confuses you, remember that doesn’t mean you’re stupid. We can feel confused when we are told untruths or only part of the story. Keep questioning (in your head?) until things make sense and seem true. Try to find honest voices that say things differently from the prejudices.
War is always very bad, but it always passes.
Nothing is ever so bad that you have to give up all hope.
You can, may, and perhaps should always have hope, even if only a little.
Bad feelings always diminish over time. Just because you feel terrible now doesn’t mean you will feel that way in a year, two years, or forever.
That’s called despair, that you gave up hope. Even if everyone around you seems desperate, you still don’t have to become all-worried.
Jews are the People of Eternal Hope, which can go a long way in helping.