Chronicles from Home         

Part  11


January 29, 2004


We opened the cages of the beasts yesterday.  Can a wild beast do something meaningful with freedom?  No.  Nothing.  Except to kill again and again.  That is what they did, tearing our flesh apart, drinking our blood and claiming that their despair can only be expressed this way.  Personally, I know a few good places they could go in case they feel the need to blow themselves up out of frustration.  But I forgot: it wouldn't work if the blood they suck isn't Jewish.  The satisfaction wouldn't be the same and the world would even voice some protestations.

Yesterday plunged into despair every Jew in the world.  I was at home when Rich called.  He sounded frantic and I couldn't understand what he was saying.  Then, I heard the word "Pigu-a".  Where, when, how many. That is all that matters, nothing else; no speeches are needed when you hear the dreadful word.  Rich didn't know yet the details.

I started to think about our friend Isabelle, who is visiting, who left 15 minutes before towards that direction.  I couldn't reach her and I got very worried.  Our niece, Elana, who lives a block from the blast called me to let me know she was okay.  Her voice was trembling and I could feel she was holding back her tears.  The thought Jews were dying at this precise moment made me dizzy and nauseous.  I hung up. I couldn't find the strength to say a hearty B"H'', that my loved ones are safe.  What about my other loved ones, the ones I would never have a chance to meet.  I knew that somewhere, somebody else was receiving a phone call and that their world would collapse around them.

I called some friends that I know who go there or live nearby.  I heard from Isabelle.  She was okay, B'H''.  I decided to go to the Kotel.  As I was taking my purse, the phone rang.  It was Batya's school.  Her teacher told them the news and she felt the need to talk to me.  She was scared and I could hear her sobbing.  I told her I was okay and Daddy and Yehuda.  I told her to be strong.  I told her not to fear.  I told her that HaShem was with us.  I told her, I don't know what I told her.  I just was focusing on not crying, not to rush to pick her up now and hide under our blankets.  Just stay calm and reassuring.  Just convince her that everything will be okay.  Ha kol yiye besseder.  Everybody is saying it right now, crying and sobbing.  It will be okay, but when?

I kept repeating to her to be strong.  When I told her the word  'Chazak",  "strong" in Hebrew, she automatically continued with the following words we said when we complete the reading of one Book of the Torah.  " Chazak, Chazak, Venischazeik!"  "Be strong, be strong, and may we be strengthened!"  She then laughed and thanked me, she felt better.  I was glad I stayed home.  I decided to stay at home in case I needed to pick her up earlier.  I thought of Yehuda, hoping they wouldn't tell the little ones about the news at school. I thought about Michael, the young guard in front of Yehuda's school and I begged him in my mind to keep his eyes open.

I needed to do something meaningful.  I emptied half of our closets and brought clothes to a wonderful Rabbi in our neighborhood who takes care of children in need.  It helped a little bit.

But somewhere, in my mind I couldn't help to think about another little girl, who felt the urge to talk to her mother to feel reassured and who would never have a chance to hear her voice again, ever.



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