The Jewish Observer
News from Middle Tennessee's Jewish Community | Sunday, March 3, 2024
The Jewish Observer

How do I feel?

Reflections from Omer Shabat, Community Shaliach 

 

How do I feel? A question that I still don't know how to answer. 

I usually say "okay" or "it will be better" but I will explain a little more. 

On October 7 my family and I realized that something was happening in Israel while we were on a trip to the west coast. I come from Ahuzat Barak. A small village in the Jezreel Valley where 700 families live. Since I moved to the village. I grew up and did everything possible with all the people who live there and the bonds that were formed is not something you see everywhere. 

From time immemorial the people in the village have loved to go out together to clubs, festivals, and anything that makes the heart happy with a special connection to music. 

Seven people from the village went together to a music festival in Re'im in the south of the country, and as soon as all the madness started, we lost contact with them, and we didn't know what was going on with anyone. 

We prayed for good news 

Because we are such a small and cohesive community everyone was optimistic and strengthened each other and we prayed for good news. 

During the first week, names of those who were killed at the party began to arrive. Day after day we received the shocking news that they did not survive. Until the last moment these people had a smile on their faces. The last photo sent to the families was with a huge smile and incredible hope. 

This is the first time that my village has received such bed news and more about seven people. The pain my hometown is in right now is making it difficult for me. To be so far from the community that raised me and educated me and to know that I can do nothing to help them, only to support them from afar. 

Seven funerals in two weeks. Friends who were buried a few hours apart from each other. Brothers buried side by side. 

The pain is great but the hope is strong 

I still need the time to process everything, but we are full of hope, and I am praying for those people who just went to celebrate Simchat Torah with music and love. 

I really want to thank everyone who reached out to me to ask me how I’m feeling. It really helps me to feel better. 

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