Monday, June 30, 2014

Hope turned upside down and back again

The time is late, and I should be heading to bed, but my heart and head are in no place to sleep.  Time has become of little meaning.
Tonight we all heard the most painful news of all--that the three boys who we have been praying for, hoping for, singing for, doing extra good deeds for--those boys were found dead, murdered in cold blood by evil terrorists.  Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel.    Names that will forever reverberate with a gut-wrenching sadness, with a hope that was turned upside down.
This story is one of pain.  A deep pain. One that cuts to the very fiber of one's being.  Pain for the boys who had to live through a horribly frightening act of evil, pain for the families who lost their beloved sons, and pain for the entire nation of Israel, who lost their brothers.  This is a nation in mourning.

And yet.  I was listening to the news tonight. They were reporting from Kfar Etzion, the settlement where 2 of the boys went to high school.  The very place where my husband and I got married.  And not very far at all from the place where the boys were kidnapped from.  The reporter mentioned how the high school sent out an email to the families about the news, and said their doors were open tonight for students to gather together in prayer, in mourning, and to speak with psychologists.  In the background, sounds could be heard from a wedding that was taking place just a few minutes away, in the stunning tent that housed my husband and I when we got married.  The surrealism of it all--the guy getting married was a graduate of that high school, and the Rabbi officiating was the head of the high school.  But what the reporter continued to describe was the fact that while word got out about the painful news, it was all done in hushed tones...the bride and groom had no idea. Three hours into the wedding, and the chatan and kallah still didnt know! Can you imagine?  מי כעמך ישראל??!!  People in so much pain, hiding the pain to be able to dance and rejoice at a wedding--hiding the news, so they wouldnt, G-d forbid, lessen the joy of a bride and groom!! Such strength.  Such beauty.

This story is one of pain.  But it is also a story of strength.  Incredible strength shown by the mothers over the last 2 weeks, strength in our holy soldiers who were working tirelessly day and night to find our boys, strength in a nation that desires happiness and peace, and who will not let terrorism win.

It is also a story of hope.  Hope that was turned upside down with the finding of the dead boys, but hope that is still whispered and sung about, in a deep yearning for all to be right again.  The hope that our nation is built on.  לא אבדה תקוותינו After all these years, we are still a nation of hope. Of belief. Belief that somehow, in the end, goodness and light will prevail.  The thousands of acts of kindness, the unity displayed, the prayers breaking down heavens doors, the candles lit--this is proof of that goodness.
We will continue to live, to dance, to sing, to join hands together and break down walls, and to believe and hope for a better day..
May their memories be a blessing.