April 14, 2024
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April 14, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I assume most people do not look at their lives as being very simple. If one is “in the parsha,” which used to mean “of dating age,” there seem to be complex issues all the time. He’s too tall, she’s not fum enough, he learns, there probably is someone better waiting right around the corner so why settle, etc. Once a couple gets married and begins life together, everyone has to admit that no matter how much the couple had checked and gotten to know each other, and seemed madly in love, the second they wake up next to each other there begins that feeling of “I didn’t know that about her.”

Then the children come and even more demands are made on this young couple, who is already challenged through their everyday life. Finances, inlaws, and pressure from keeping up with the Joneses continue to challenge everyday life. I won’t even go into getting older, children getting married or not, disliking the machatanim or wishing there would be less splitting time between the families, and then the stress of aging, empty nest, illness, wrinkles, loneliness, and other silly things to compose many of the realizations of life as it is. Definitely not so simple.

How many in Israel wish they would share such a simple lifestyle? Right now I do not have one friend who is not having sleepless nights worrying about their sons and daughters and grandchildren. Each one has a story. One is near Lebanon. Another is in Gaza, Families that are not in touch with their chayalim because they are not allowed their phones for fear they will be tracked through some channels which I do not understand. One friend, marrying in August, found five minutes to speak with his new bride on Chanukah. She said it was the best gift that she had ever received. Many call when they get time off to go visit a comrade in the hospital who is recovering from injuries and they are able to grab a phone.

That doesn’t sound so simple to me.

Children and families that have been displaced due to the terror that they have seen and the destruction of their homes. Families, large families, living in hotel rooms and still smiling when they realize they are one of the lucky ones. Did you see the picture of the families from one of the destroyed communities being housed at a hotel in Eilat making the decision to serve the hotel staff one night by themselves? The staff members were served and sat at tables while the kibbutz members served them in an overwhelming act of gratitude for all they have done for them. None of these things are simple. Trying to be brave in front of your children even though your hearts are breaking over lost family members. How can one ever comprehend a 13 year old boy who celebrates his bar mitzvah flanked by his grandparents and wearing his father’s tefillin as his parents were killed in front of his eyes?

Nothing in Israel is simple these days. They cannot be compared to the frightening Teaneck City Council meeting nor the atrocious act of allowing students during school time to march in favor of Palestine. Yes, we have challenges here, but they cannot compare in a million years to what our brothers and sisters in Israel are going through each day. A woman walking towards Israeli soldiers in Gaza with her hands up in the air flanked by three little children, the soldiers assuming she is surrendering until they get close to her and she reaches for the gun inside her robe and in front of her three young children begins to shout at the soldiers. That for sure is about as far from simple as one can get.

And yet, despite everything being inflicted on our family in Israel they seem to roll with the punches much more matter of factly than we do here. I think we need to learn from them.

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