Sunday, July 30, 2006


In the third chapter of Eicha, or Lamentaions, Yirmiyahu turns his cries from a "how and why are You doing this to the land" to "how and why are You doing this to me?" The first half of the chapter, he despairs that God has turned from him. Not only that, but God has turned His back on Yirmiyahu, He doesn't WANT to hear Yirmiyahu's pleas.

And then, in the second half of the chapter, Yirmiyahu does a complete about-face and says that only his belief in Hashem can lift him from the severe depression. Regardless of whether Hashem wants to hear it, Yirmiyahu will continue to pray, and continue to believe.

I've been living in Israel now for 9 years. In that time, I divorced my husband of 9 years. I was a single mother for 5 years. During that time I lost my job and for the past 6 years have been trying to deal with the fact that I am surrounded by people who would sooner shoot me than learn to live as my neighbor.

With all that going on in my life, there were plenty of times when I was at the bottom. I despaired of ever being able to have ONE month where I could pay all my bills, buy groceries and give the girls their allowance. I wasn't even praying to have something to carry on into the next month. There were times when I was thisclose to selling everything I owned, give up the joint custody of my daughters and move back to the US. I would be in tears, crying into my pillow, praying to God to help me.

And every time I got to that point, something happened. A freelance job would give my bank account a boost. The tzedakah organization on the Yishuv would drop two cases of assorted groceries on my doorstep. I met my second husband. And the important thing is... I recognized from whence it came.

There's really nothing I can do about the political situation though. The Intifada that started up again and now the war again in Lebanon.

There are those who have said that the first and second Intifada was brought by God when the people of Israel would start turning on one another. He would bring around a common enemy and the Jews would join together. Unfortunately for us, the Achdut (solidarity) never lasts long.

As for the war... there's another issue at stake. It's a need to return, or maybe turn, to God. Anyone who reads the TaNaCH (5 Books of Moses, the Prophets and the 'Writings') and believes in it can clearly learn that there is a direct correlation between the Land of Israel, the People of Israel and the Word of God. One follows the Word of God, one cares for the Land of Israel and God will take care of the People. Don't follow the Word of God, or don't care for the Land of Israel and God will punish the people.

So God has brought this war as a lesson to His people. And what is that lesson? Well. It's different for everyone. And it's up to each person to discover what it is. And it happens in baby steps.

We have a number of Chiloni (secular) friends living in Tel Aviv. Two of them have been living inIsrael all their lives and have never gone over the Green Line. In the last month, one has come to our house twice and another once. Another Chiloni person whose blog I read (and he reads mine) read in my blog last week that a Tehillim rally was scheduled in Jerusalem. He got himself a Tehillim and went. And has been saying Tehillim every day ever since.

I'm not a religious nut, I don't consider myself particularly learned. I don't spend my days reading about Bible codes and The Matrix in every TV show I watch. I wasn't even particularly spiritual when I first made Aliyah.

But I can't live where I live and not see the miracles. I can't see what I've seen without seeing the Hand of God in it all.

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