Monday, November 30, 2015

Sometimes the thoughts swirl faster than others

7:35-ish TZOMET HaGush. Say goodbye to Asher and watch him board the 160 bus toward Hebron.
Drive back to efrat, pick up the girls, drop them at school.
7:58 pull over to check my phone. Stabbing at TZOMET HaGush.  Hebron side.

How to measure a hairsbreadth?

Some proximity of time and place, I know.
"My son got on the bus minutes before the terrorist approached the bus stop and started stabbing." Or, as reported by a close friend, "I was in the next car after the car that was sprayed with bullets." Or, as reported by another close friend, "The boulder was sitting on my dashboard. When I got out of the car I found I was covered in glass."
But also an intense familiarity. 
"That place where the terrorist attack occurred - I go there every day, every week, every whatever." "That person who was killed was my teacher, my neighbor, my friend's son, a girl I met in a tremp...."
Thus leaving nearly every single resident of this place with a distinct feeling of (they or their loved ones) just having escaped with their lives. 

[hairz-bredth, -bretth, -breth] 

a very small space or distance:
We escaped an accident by a hairsbreadth.
When i dropped asher to TZOMET HaGush this morning I offered up some theories as to why the new elite army unit we have aiming sniper rifles at every car is wearing face masks. His question - why do we need such an elite unit. I made him laugh when I repeated something I'd read yesterday - TZOMET HaGush is the most dangerous place in israel right now. I admitted it also made me giggle because our experience at this spot is a history of boring bus alighting, uneventful grocery shopping and ambivalent gas refueling. It reminded me of growing up outside Washington, D.C. in the 1980s when the nations capital was dubiously renamed the Murder Capital of the World. We giggled then too. Not out of insensitivity. Our experience, there too, was vast and uneventful. People are afraid to come to the place where I go shopping for cool clothes or to visit museums? It felt absurd. Yet I never was so physically close, in those days, to the actual violence that plagued Washington. In fact, the giggle is where the analogy ends. In this stage of my life, it has been very close, very real, very insanely miraculously just a hairsbreadth away - physically. Emotionally, however, there is no escape.

We were blessed by our cousin's husband at the Brit Milah of his son yesterday. We being all of Am Yisrael.
כד  יְבָרֶכְךָ ה״ וְיִשְׁמְרֶךָ.  {ס}24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee; {S}
כה  יָאֵר ה״ פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וִיחֻנֶּךָּ.  {ס}25 The LORD make His face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; {S}
כו  יִשָּׂא ה״ פָּנָיו אֵלֶיךָ, וְיָשֵׂם לְךָ שָׁלוֹם.  {ס}26 The LORD lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. {S}