I checked a few places to make sure this was actually day 11 since the Hamas massacre. The days bleed into one another, I don’t even know half the time what day of the week it is, and when I posted my first dispatch, I was off by an entire day.
And so much has and hasn’t changed since October 7th, which was both shabbat and Simchat Torah; both the deadliest attack on Jews since the Holocaust and the worst terrorist attack in Israel’s modern history.
The discourse around the ‘Palestinian Israeli conflict’ is still chock full of utterly uninformed takes. The discourse around this Hamas massacre of Jews – and it was about Jews, don’t be mistaken – is even more uninformed, more misguided, more grave than you can imagine having lived through decades of poorly formed ‘Arab Israeli conflict’ takes.
That leads me to this: Stop expecting things. If you stop expecting things that aren’t necessarily owed you (and believe me, as a Jew, nothing is owed you), you start to see the world differently. And breathe a little looser. If you can recognize your true standing, you can start to stand a little straighter; take things with more clarity.
Be more productive.
The days bleed into one another. I wake up early but don’t realize I haven’t had coffee yet until 11, or remember to eat until 2. It’s hard to do any one task wholly… Instead it’s doing 286594 starts of completely unrelated tasks. Eventually, something gets done? A lot of wandering around the house, muttering to yourself.
Sometimes the body reacts before the brain. Sometimes I’ll realize there are tears in my eyes and I don’t remember how they got there or what triggered it in this moment.
Pause the news stream for a second and listen in on the kids playing. It’s often the sound of processing.
The kids are frustrated, the kids are confused, the kids are filled with a tension-fueled energy they don’t have the vocabulary to explain, the understanding to identify.
It makes me crazy, it makes me have to stop and react oppositely – with a hug, a cuddle. They don’t understand it but I do.
There are way too many funerals. It’s a constant thing now. There’s no way to keep track; if you haven’t heard from someone in a couple hours, it’s very possible they are at a funeral. The entire country is touched by this fact; no mezuza on the door post could prevent this. This wasn’t the hand of God. It was the hand of man, barbaric, evil man. The very worst hand.
In the last couple days I started translating survivor testimonies in English for the world to understand. Survivors of the Nazi Hamas massacre, or survivors telling where they last saw their kidnapped loved ones.
I can’t believe what even that does to me, never mind photos I haven’t seen and only imagine.
I didn’t know there are so many different kinds of heart-racing, and that specifically while reading testimonies of the survivors – the heart racing feels different, it’s mixed with a kind of nausea, it spreads over your chest like a web.
The things being described.
They’re handing out flags at the entrance of our heavily guarded yishuv. At first, I saw the flags for sale in the supermarket and in my cloudiness thought it was May. Now they’re cropping up on all the local cars. Children hand them out with solemn smiles at the gate.
There’s a future. It’s just not clear what’s in it.