Day 180

For many weeks after October 7, 2023, my Musings column revolved around the massacre that had taken place in Israel and the aftermath. We are now 180 days since then, 180 days of hostages whose fates are unknown, 180 days of families displaced from their homes, and 180 days of both suffering and resilience. Close to 180 days of lies, defamation, and betrayal of Israel by much of the world’s elites.

Over the past few years, governments, mainstream media, and academicians have demanded that we believe a lot of things or, if we don’t believe them, to attest to them anyway. January 6 was an anarchic uprising that endangered America. Closing places of worship and schools was necessary to fight a virus. Family and gender are whatever we say they are.

If you nod your head in agreement with those statements, then it makes sense for you to take Hamas casualty numbers as factual, think that a two-state solution in the Middle East is possible, and rail against the state of Israel as supportive of apartheid and genocide. Those all make sense in your reality. They make no sense in mine.


In a world that allows us to connect to anywhere on the planet with the tap of a finger, we cannot possibly pay attention to everything. We would quickly exhaust our physical, mental, and emotional faculties. We, rightly, must focus on what is nearest to us, trying desperately to understand if or when what is going on elsewhere will impact us. That is not selfishness, it is survival. To the extent that we can, we pray for and support those far from our sphere, but no one’s shoulders can bear the burdens of all humanity.

Since October 7, other than on Shabbat, I go to bed and wake up to news from Israeli news sources. I pull together what I hear from one and read more from another trying to reach an accurate picture. Reality is complex. I know that, as much as most of you support Israel and doubt that you are getting reliable information about what is going on there, it is not at the top of your consciousness. That is understandable. But each week, as I have been writing a Musing on an unrelated topic, I feel that I am play-acting, ignoring what is uppermost in my mind. 180 days in, today I am indulging myself.

This Musing is dedicated in memory of Amit Levy, age 22, who was murdered by Hamas terrorists as she, her twin sister and friends attended a music festival on October 7, 2023. Her sister was shot three times and thank God, survived, while Amit was slain along with two friends.

And with prayers for the release of all the hostages (or their bodies) and among them Ohad Ben Ami, age 57, captured by Hamas terrorists, along with his wife, from their home in Kibbutz Be’eri. His wife was subsequently released.


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