My 1st birthday in Israel is quickly approaching. When I say it like that, I sound so young- but really I am not feeling so young. I know to many reading this, they will scoff at me for saying that. The truth is, I actually love this age. I love who I am at this age. I am so lucky every morning to be given the chance for another day. To be better than the day before. And how lucky I am to be celebrating this 1st birthday in Israel- and not just on a vacation- but actually living here. I still have to pinch myself as a reminder that it’s real life and not just a dream. It’s really amazing to be living my dream though!
And as I am about to begin another year, I can’t help but remember and think about all those that were killed in terrorist attacks, tragically taken away before their time. Before they were able to celebrate another birthday. So many families that will have a Yahretzeit Kiddush instead of a surprise birthday party. This is probably not the typical mindset to have the week of one’s birthday, but living in Israel I can’t help it. Instead of feeling joyous, I am feeling sad. So many children, so many wives and husbands, mothers and fathers, missing a loved one.
And for no damn reason.
Ok, here comes the anger.
Why aren’t these Jewish heroes, these brave victims, spending another day, another birthday?
Because someone learned that it is their right to kill. A right to kill?!
And to kill anyone that is Jewish- young, old, mother, father, child, teacher, soldier, Rabbi.
And to kill anywhere- synagogue, school, supermarket, home, street, car, bus stop.
And to kill anytime- morning, afternoon, evening, night, rain or shine.
There is no justifiable reason. There’s no pretense- this isn’t a peace mission. These murderers, these terrorists, don’t want to live side by side in coexistence, sharing the land. They aren’t killing because they want peace. They are killing because we’re Jewish. They simply hate us and hate the idea of Israel.
I really wish they didn’t. I really wish all these victims, these distraught families, had another day, another year, another lifetime together. I really wish so many children didn’t have to grow up as orphans. I wish they had more time to enjoy life together.
So as I am given the chance to celebrate another birthday, my thoughts to everyone missing a loved one are- I can’t imagine your pain, but you are not alone and we are with you. I wish you comfort, and future joy and simcha. And I wish you the knowledge that their lives weren’t for nothing. Your loved ones are heroes, and I am so sorry that they were taken before their time. Know that they make me feel braver- they make me feel even more grounded to this land, our land.
So as I am turning ** I won’t say anymore, “Oy! I’m getting so old.” Instead, I will thank HaShem for another day, another year, to live. To celebrate life with those that I love. And I will thank HaShem for giving me the opportunity to celebrate this birthday, and G-d willing, all future birthdays, in Israel- the land that belongs to us. And I will ask HaShem, Please, let us only have s’machot to celebrate- please let this year be one of peace and happiness- for all of Am Yisrael.