Walking alone. Walking though Yerushalayim alone. I felt alone. I felt scared. I didn’t want to feel scared. I should not have felt scared. But scared I felt. Squeezing, clenching my pepper spray bottle hidden inside my coat pocket. I never owned mace until a couple of months ago. But I own it now. I own it so I won’t feel so scared.
I was walking down Rechov Yaffo toward the Old City walls. I was walking towards the Kotel to daven. I was walking with a purpose. I needed to talk to Hashem. Really talk. When someone in your family needs Tefillot, you need to talk to Hashem. And if I am lucky enough to live in Yerushalayim, then this conversation would happen at the Kotel. Up close and personal.
The notion of living without a car may not seem like a foreign idea to you, if you’ve lived in a city all your life. Or it may seem like the farthest concept if you grew up like me, in a suburban town. For my entire life, living in New Jersey communities, I traveled by car. Remember those station wagons that you rode to school in? I used to sit backwards in the trunk and climb out through the window, dragging my school bag behind me. Then we had all different styles of minivans — with new features each time the latest model came out. Once married and our kids were school-aged, we leased our first minivan with two sliding doors. I was thrilled — it would definitely make driving carpool less stressful.
I can’t stay silent after the tragedy that happened in Tel Aviv. It occurs all the time. More senseless, brutal murders. In cold blood. This time with an automatic weapon. Not a knife. We never know where it’ll happen. And when walking on any given street, we are aware that a terrorist attack has already happened in that spot. Because they happen everywhere. The terrorists don’t discriminate. They hate us all. They hate us for living in Israel. They hate Israel. They want to rid us out of our homeland.
I pray for the victims, and for the families of the victims. Please don’t let there be anymore.
Friendship is a wonderful thing- so many levels and dimensions. So many friends from so many different times in our lives. Childhood, school age, camp, high school, seminary (gap year), college, workplace, community, and so on.
Friends are the family we get to choose. It’s really amazing when you meet someone, you either click or you don’t. It’s even more amazing when as a couple, all 4 spouses get along. Personalities can be so different or so similar, and somehow it just works.
“Modeh ani lefaneicha melech chai v’kayam shehechezarta bi nishmati bechemlah rabbah emunatecha.” I gratefully thank You, living and eternal King, for You have returned my soul within me with compassion – abundant is Your faithfulness.
That prayer is on the lips of every Jewish child and adult every morning, grateful for another day that Hashem, God, has granted us. Words to remind us to not take our precious lives for granted.