Sunday, March 9, 2008

Why I could not write about the terrorist attack at Mercaz Harav

There are so many amazing posts out there about people's reactions to the tragedy at Mercaz Harav. So why did I not contribute? Why did I direct my attention elsewhere? Why did I write about other things and not about the one thing that truly deserved to be written about - that called out to every one of us, begging us to write?

Maybe it's because what happened at Mercaz Harav is too tremendous for me to have coherent thoughts which I can actually type out. I'm sad, I'm upset, I'm distraught, even, but I can't add to what has already been written unless I reiterate the way this event has struck me and the rest of Am Yisrael. But who needs reiteration?

Mercaz Harav is a place many Americans know, so it is not a surprise that the attack there elicited such a strong reaction from the Jewish American community. But for me, instead of wanting to cry out, instead of transcribing my emotions to paper as I do on occasion, I turned inward. I became extremely introspective and have been barely able to address this issue in a somewhat coherent fashion until right now, and even now I don't know what I'm supposed to say. It helps no one to start describing the feelings of despair - not when everyone else is feeling it.

And yet, I feel as though if I don't write about the event, I'll be overlooking it. So perhaps this counts as my obligatory post on the tragedy of Mercaz Harav. Or perhaps it does not. Perhaps it's a cop-out, because I'm not really writing about the event itself, but rather, I'm writing about writing about it.

I hope you all understand why I could not write a post sufficiently describing the pain Am Yisrael is going through and why I could not contribute to the outcry. I just don't know how to do it. For me, I'm much more action-minded at times like these. Instead of mourning, I get angry. I want to teach all the terrorists a lesson. But since that is all fantasy, the only thing to do is try and deal with it the best I can, but the best I can seems to be not addressing the issue at all. Maybe I'm just afraid of crying or of anything that makes me feel uncomfortable. I don't know.

All I know is, now, more than ever, we need to mean it when we say Am Yisrael Chai.

And now I must return to grappling with the contradiction of Mi'shenichnas Adar Marbim B'simcha.

Adar sameach, everyone.

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