Carrying On Despite the Ongoing Violence | IFCJ
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Carrying On Despite the Ongoing Violence

Writer Varda Epstein shares at Forward what it’s like to try to carry on as usual in her town of Efrat in the midst of the constant terror attacks.“I’m a survivor.” I say it to the mirror. I say it to myself. And I mean it. After all, I’ve been through this before. I know this song, its lyrics by heart, even if the arrangement has changed. Instead of blowing up buses, they stab us, or pour oil on the road, or shoot us in front of our small children.There’s nothing different here. Nothing that distinguishes this terror from any other. A different note here and there. But the same tune, with the same ugly unmusical hook and crashing chords.But she also writes about one thing that is different this time around – and one truth that gives her hope.My son is a soldier in the thick of it. When the words won’t come I picture him there, suited up, padded to the max. In uniform, holding a shield in front of him to repel the rocks. I haven’t asked him what he does out there, but I know where he is and I’ve overheard the hushed phone calls between him and his father, my husband. I’ve heard enough to imagine it. The catcalls they send his way, making his testosterone rise until the aggression blooms atop the surface and he loses it and makes a foolish move, God forbid. He is only supposed to stand there and take it. And if he gets hurt because he can’t defend himself, I will lose it, I swear.But I won’t lose it. Because I’m here. And that’s a kind of proof when one is a Jew. It means your ancestors got lucky or were very canny.Maybe they were the kind of people who managed to sneak out of the wrong line, slink away from the chain of people moving inexorably into gas chambers, or the kind of people who were last to sneak across the border without getting caught, the ones whose bribes found favor with the enemy.Maybe they did something slightly unsavory, anything to stay alive. Or simply found grace in the eyes of God.The Jews are a miracle.


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