Our loved ones missing

Since I got home from work this afternoon, I have been going absolutely crazy, waiting to hear what is going on with Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife Rivka. I’m also so uneasy thinking about the fact that we lack so much information. How many others are in this building? How is their current situation? When will it be over? Will they be OK?!

Or more importantly, “Can they please be OK?!

And then I think of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers.

This horror in Mumbai, India is going to end relatively quickly. It feels like it’s been going on forever but in the near future we will know the fates of these beloved people. Pretty soon there will be evidence as to what has happened.

On the other hand, Israel’s missing soldiers is a whole other ballgame. Taken into different countries, to disappear without a trace.

Until last night I’d never heard of these people in Mumbai. I’d probably never heard of Mumbai. And yet my heart just goes out to them and I care about them. I actually even feel love towards them, even if it’s only towards the image of them I have created for myself.

Two caring people who – like Chabadniks all over the world – go and do their work with such happiness and dedication. I imagine them to be lovely, personable people. I imagine them being loving parents. And I hate what they’ve been going through the last day or so and I pray that they be found, very soon, alive and well.

But I’ve never met them.

Suddenly I can begin to imagine how it might feel for the families of the kidnapped soldiers. I have been absolutely unproductive today, because everything I was supposed to do felt totally inappropriate given the situation – even if the situation, I could argue, barely concerns me. Even if maybe my thinking about them doesn’t do much.

How do the families of these soldiers live with pain and an open wound infinately bigger than mine today?

I always find it interesting that we are created in a way so that we can never – absolutely never – really know what someone else is feeling until we’ve experienced it ourselves. Of course we can never truly experience someone else’s experience so theoretically we can never know what someone else is feeling.

But at the same time, there are sister experiences. Experiences that are, to a certain extent, related to each other.

And today I have experienced a baby sister experience to the families’ of the kidnapped soldiers experiences. And through this I am trying to understand, just a little bit more, that I have no idea what a difficult life they lead, not knowing the health, whereabouts or fate of their beloveds.

May all Jews in danger be brought home safely immediately.


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