With a broken heart…

I don’t know what to do about all of these terror attacks.

I have a fantasy in which I am the Prime Minister of Israel,

Or maybe the Minister of Defense,

(Or both at the same time),

Or an IDF soldier,

But definitely not someone just typing something on a computer.


I have a fantasy where the line was FINALLY crossed and someone says enough is enough.

One Jew has died. Which means too many Jews have died.

And we defend ourselves in our homeland.

Not by giving away our land (we saw how well that worked).

Not by signing meaningless accords.

But by showing the terrorists what happens when you kill a Jew.


I’m not a fan of Dr. Phil, but one day many years ago I was watching his show on television. He said, ‘you teach people how to treat you’.


If we are continuously being killed, we must not be sending the right message.


Jewish children have been murdered while sleeping in their beds.

Jewish mothers have been murdered opening their front doors.

Jewish men have been murdered praying in synagogue.

Jews have been murdered at work.

Jews have been murdered while shopping.

Jews have been murdered while waiting for a bus.

Jewish soldier’s bodies have been stolen.


Jews have been murdered while still in the womb.


This isn’t 1939. Its 2018.

Wasn’t Israel created for a reason?


And so begins the predictable cycle.

A Facebook post announcing the death, with a picture of a flickering candle.

A list of victims, which end with the phrase ‘May their memory be for a blessing’.


I’m really sick of seeing that phrase.


It is written so often, that it feels the same as saying ‘good morning, or ‘how are you.


‘May their memory be for a blessing’.


I don’t want blessed memories.


I want life.


My brain needs to make sense of the senseless.

I don’t understand how people can have zero regard for life. How much hatred do you have to be raised with in order to kill?


The consensus I always seem to hear is ‘Esav soneh L’Yaakov’.

As if a rational excuse for horrific tragedy.

But I guess we all need to grasp at something to make the loss of life understandable.

I think back to the story about Yaakov and Esav. For reasons we all understand, Rivka assisted Yaakov in receiving Esav’s blessing from Yitzchak. This angered Esav so much, that Yaakov ran away to Lavan’s home. Rivka told Yaakov she would send for him once Esav calmed down.


That never happened.


We are all still waiting for Rivkah Emeinu to call us home.

Yaakov only returned when Gd told him to.

At their fateful meeting, it says that Esav fell on Yaakov’s neck, and they wept. Some say Esav kissed Yaakov (because he felt Yaakov was finally subservient to him), others say Esav tried to bite Yaakov, but Gd turned Yaakov’s neck to stone for protection.

This feud has been a long one.


Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai writes about this story something simple:

It is a known law: Esav hates Yaakov.


Like a law of nature.

It does not need to be rational.


I get it.


But I can’t to hear it anymore.


You want to teach your children to hate Jews?

I can’t stop that.

You want to have kindergarten graduations that mimic terrorist training camps to kill us?

That’s pathetic.

You want to wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, eat breakfast, and kill a Jew?

That needs to stop.


But, you know, Esav soneh L’Yaakov.

Another phrase which has become the new ‘good morning’, ‘how are you’.


The next consensus is that this is all happening “because it’s the birthing pangs of Moshiach’.

It says in Sanhendrin ‘let Moshiach come, but let me not see him’Our sages knew how painful this time would be, and would rather skip the entire thing.


I get that too. I think we all get that.


You want to make up lies about Israel?

I can’t stop that.

You want to call Israel apartheid?

That’s pathetic.

You want to ‘kill all the Jews’?

That needs to stop.


But, you know, ‘birthing pangs of Moshiach’.

Another phrase which has become the new ‘good morning’, ‘how are you’.


The time for Moshiach has come and passed. He is here somewhere. He wants to show us his face.


Waiting for us.


I understand these rationales. We need to cling to something.


We are still going to funerals. Families are still being destroyed.


We all know the quote ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results’


We are not sitting ducks. We need to stop acting like it.


We survived the Egyptians.

We survived the Babylonians.

We survived the Persians.

We survived the Greeks.

We survived the Romans.

We survived the Nazis.


We are Jews. Survival is what we do.


We have two weapons.

We have Gd, and we have our hands.

We need to use both.

It’s time to use both.


Of course we need to pray. Of course we need to be good people. Of course we need to beg for rachamim.


But does Judaism teach to only pray cancer away?


We want to live in peace, but if you’re making that impossible, we need to devise a better plan.


We returned to our land to have a place to survive.  We need to start doing that.


While this feud is thousands of years old, and it very well is halacha b’yadua that Esav soneh L’Yaakov,

It also says in Yeshiyahu 43:1 ‘And now, so says Hashem, who created you Yaakov and who formed you Israel, do not be afraid, because I have redeemed you, and called you by name, you are mine’

About the Author
Adina Bensoussan is an occupational therapist who specializes in mental health and psychosocial work. Born in Cleveland, currently surviving New York City, with a heart that lives in Israel.
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