The Post Terror Attack Ritual

This sounds terrible, but because of the many terrorist attacks in Israel our response has turned into what I call a ritual.

First, as soon as you hear of the attack, you think of anyone you know that might be in the area of the attack, and you start to phone them. If you are lucky you get right through and you breathe a sigh of relief that they are ok. Immediately afterwards you feel guilty. Why should I be happy when other people have lost their loved ones?

Then you turn on the internet to get as much information as possible, clicking from one site to the other to get the latest news. The numbers are important, the level of injuries are important, and the most important of course are the numbers of dead.

A little while later, you are still attached to the news, and you wait to hear the names of the dead (G-d forbid) and again you are curious to see if you know them. In a country as small as Israel, the chances are pretty good.

Later still you watch the coverage of the funerals. Inevitably you wonder if this will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and pushes Israel to undertake an operation against the terrorists.

Slowly the intensity fades. And you forget about terror attacks until the next time, although not completely.

I started saying Tehillim every day about 12 or 13 years ago. I sometimes miss a day, but I always catch up either on Shabbat or the last day of the Hebrew month, and I try to finish the entire book once a month.  I don’t think I would have done this so consistently were it not for the life we live here in Israel.

The joy of living in Israel brings me close to Hashem, and the sense of the fragility of life does the same thing.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Chaviva
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 18:06:12


  2. muman613
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 23:07:06

    May their blood be avenged. My brother was a victim of 9/11 and I feel bad every time the arabs kill any Jew anywhere. Hashem will make sure that the wicked will be destroyed. May we witness the destruction of our enemies soon… Amen…

  3. Yael
    Mar 23, 2011 @ 23:31:50

    I hope it will mean something to you that Israelis are not alone in this ritual; it is the same or similar for many of us in the States (it is not just Israel that is small, but the entire Jewish world). I myself have experienced calling around the various hospitals in Jerusalem for fear my son was among the wounded, or worse, when I couldn’t “find” him by phone. The difference is that we in Galut do not have the joy of living in Israel, and therefore may not be quite as aware as our Israeli brothers and sisters of the fragility of life. But no matter where we live, today we are in Yerushalayim.

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  5. westbankmama
    Mar 24, 2011 @ 08:24:29

    chaviva – amen to the beauty of life in Israel!

    muman613 – I am sorry to hear about your brother.

    Yael – how terrifying for you to have to do that! There should be a website set up for people like you to contact loved ones after an attack. The first thing that goes is the phone network, because everyone is doing the same thing – calling their relatives. The internet gets a bit slow too, but it usually doesn’t crash.

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