It's Friday. There's still much to be done before the Sabbath, but suddenly the world has stopped. Kind of like the breath that was held, and the heart that skipped a beat when I heard the news. The news of a fate that some people would argue is worse than death.
An Israeli soldier has once again been kidnapped by Hamas. Hadar Goldin, only 23 years old, an offcier who is going through hell right now, if he's still alive. Hell on earth has been unwillingly bequeathed upon his parents, friends and loved ones. Bequeathed upon a nation who is now holding their collective breath and trying to keep their tears from flowing all the while praying and hoping that he will be found soon, alive and well.
It's been another long heartbreaking day. One that is nowhere near being over.
There have been yet more deaths today, casualties in a bloody war that we don't want. A war that Israel has been dragged into in order to protect its citizens. A war that has taken 63 of our sons, all in the prime of their lives. Each soldier, a world unto himself. Each death a tragedy of infinite proportion, leaving no one in its path untouched.
And now we all wait, hoping for a happy end to this nightmare. In the meantime, we sit here, paralyzed with fear and anguish in our hearts. I say a silent prayer thanking God for the privilege I have to be able to hug my son today, my son who's home for Shabbat after more than a month with no leave.
I feel lucky and thankful and at the same time I feel guilty for my luck. It's kind of like survivor's guilt, my son is here yet I have two nephews who are in the thick of things. My son was almost there too, but at the last minute his unit was recalled. So how can I breathe when my nephews and other mothers sons' are fighting for our safety?
The answer is that breathing is difficult. It has been from the first minute of this war and I'm not sure I will ever breathe right again.
I try to remember that G-d's order is not human order. G-d's justice is not human justice.
Humans can only see good and bad from our limited vantage point. We lack the perspective to see the whole plan, the bigger picture. And truthfully, in the midst of pain and despair, I don't think anyone cares what the big picture is because the pain is too raw, the future is too vague and all that matters is right now. We don't have the distance, emotional or time wise, that's needed to make sense and see order in these tragic events.
It's only with perspective that we can learn to see light at the end of the tunnel. Right now, I don't think anyone living in Israel has any perspective. We have pain and we have prayers and we have pleas that we hope will reach merciful ears.
I pray and plea to God to please protect Hadar and all our soldiers. May he guide them to success, in the most humane way possible. And may they all come back healthy in body and with their spirit still intact.
Please please, join me in praying and in doing kind deeds. The nine days before the fast of Tisha B'Av are days that have been tragic ones for the Jews, yet they are days that are yearning for unity and Ahavat Chinam, (baseless love). Practicing unity and Ahavat Chinam are the the only way that we might just be able to rid the world of Hamas and Sinat Chinam. (Baseless hate.)
May be privileged to one day live in peace without fear.
Susie (Newday) Mayerfeld is a happily married American born, Israeli mother of 5. She is an oncology nurse, blogger and an avid amauter photographer. Mostly she just wants to live in peace and spread kindness and love. You can find her on her blog New Day New Lesson or on World Moms Blog.