I had one hell of an emtional night.
I went to a program at shul. It was a performance by the Friends of Israel Scouts. It was basically a bunch of Israeli teens singing and dancing about Israel. We have two Israeli Scouts currently working at the day camp where the girls go. We also have an Israeli family that have lived in the States for 2 years (the father is an officer in the IDF and has been working with the military instilation here where dh works), but are going home soon. The two older children and the mother work for the camp. The younger daughter attends the camp. Their father is called on from time-to-time to do different things both for the camp and for the Jewish community.
Mind you, the female scout is from Haifa. The male scout's school has been destroyed by the bombings. The son from the famliy that's returning to Israel after 2 years will be joining the IDF soon. My heart aches to think about it.
Then, during the performance, the kids came out dressed all in white. One boy gave a speach, in broken English, about the three Israeli military members who have been kidnapped and how we all needed to join in the prayer for them.
When he said that, I really had to fight back tears. Maybe it's because my husband is military and that could easily have been him. Maybe it's because dh is a German Jew. Maybe it's because Girl1 was happily waving the Israeli flag at the time, completely oblivious to what's going on over there. I know it was in part because my son was asleep in the sling at the time. I looked down and kissed him on the forehead and offered up a silent prayer. "Ad-nai, please let the world be different for him."
I want that for all my children. I remember when the fighting started in Iraq. Watching the bombs lighting up the sky on the news, I looked down at my girls who were happily playing on the floor. Dh worked nights, so I was alone with them. The giggled and rolled back and forth while I burst into tears. I remember getting down on the floor with them wondering if we made a mistake by bringing them into this world. Later that week, I had professional pictures taken of the girls with dh in his uniform. There were rumors that he would be headed to Iraq and I wanted pictures just in case. JUST IN CASE? What kind of a world do we live in where we have to try to preserve the little things so our children have something to hold on to just in case their daddy never comes home?
In Judaism, we believe in Tikkun Olam--Repairing the World. We believe everyone has to do their part to put the world back together. Some believe that only when that happens will the messiah come. Others believe that the messiah is necessary to inspire us all to social action. Still others believe there will be no messiah. We alone are responsible for a better world and can achieve that only by striving for justice.
Regardless, I want this to be a better world for my children. I feel so useless. I feel so small. I'm only one person. What can I do to make a difference when there is so much war and hatred? At the same time, I have to try. Even if I can't do much, hopefully I'll inspire to my children to try. I'm only one person, but there are three of them. If we all go out into the world and try to do our own repairing, maybe others will follow our lead.