Shabbat was nice, quiet, restful. After Shabbat finished, I turned on my phone. All of a sudden I saw that friends of mine in Paris had “checked in”, but for what? Was there a natural disaster there? Or something worse…?
Shabbat can actually give this feeling of connection to the immediate world around me, while at the same time disconnection with the greater world. There is something nice to not be connected all the time. To somewhat forget that the world is not always the greatest place. To just hang out with friends, almost with no care in the world (I am still living in Israel).
I remember this feeling a few years back, when there were constant bombings in the South, and earlier that week they reached Tel Aviv. I remember going away for Shabbat, and it was the first time that I wasn’t glued to the news. Yes, the radio was on in the safe room, just in case something happened, we would be able to be informed. But there was this feeling of maybe it actually is as quiet as it seems (unfortunately that Shabbat there were at least two air raid sirens in Jerusalem).
I felt this two summers ago during Operation Protective Edge, where daily people were being killed. And there was this want for Shabbat, so I couldn’t look. But also a desire to know, because not knowing can be scarier.
This Shabbat, Israel too started with a tragedy. A father and son were murdered their daughter was supposed to be married this week.
The fighting around the world continues. I know (unfortunately), there are many places in the world that people are dying. People are afraid to walk outside, because of suicide bombers. People are afraid to walk outside because of terrorists with knives. People are afraid to walk outside because of rape.
In this past week’s Parsha, Parshat Toldot we hear that Rivka has two nations in her womb. They are fighting even inside her. They are born, and are very different from each other, but they are both loved and praised for the things they are good at. Yitzchak loves Esav because he goes out and hunts, and is a good hunter. Rivka loves Yaakov because he is quiet and stays indoors. It is because of trickery that the fighting starts. There are many commentators that say that Yaakov was in the wrong- wrong to buy the birthright the way he did; wrong to trick Lavan; wrong to try to trick Esav later when they re-meet again. What would have happened if they did not fight? What would have happened if they worked together? We are not able to have a world without food, nor are we able to have a world without the quiet times of intellect.
I pray that all of the families around the world that have suffered loss find some form of comfort. I pray that those who have suffered shock find solace. I pray that as a greater world community we can come together and find our way of working together- not trying to change one another, rather using each of our skills, desires, inclination for the greater good.
May we all have a week of peace, comfort, and happiness.