My heart was hardened, but I am beginning to feel it soften.
In Sunday’s NY Times Jodi Rudoren had an article laced with the usual false equivalences, and a remarkable, doubtless unintended, revelation. The Abu Khdeir’s are recent immigrants having only arrived a mere 250 years ago. The article ended with a quote from Mohamed Abu Khdeir’s mother; Suha:
“For the last four days, I didn’t see my son, I cannot bear it anymore — I call him all the time,” said Ms. Abu Khdeir. “I hope that the Jewish mothers feel what I am feeling,” she said. “May God burn them like I am burned.”
To her, I would say, This is not a competition. For if it were, you would have no standing. We have been burned by you since 629 CE (Khaybar Khaybar ya yahud, Jaish Muhammad sa ya’ud – a cry still heard today) Through a long bloody history, 1033, 1066 and on into the present day.
But this is the voice of my hardened heart.
To Rachel Frenkel, Iris Yifrah and Bat-Galim Shaer I say: Reach out to Suha Abu Khdeir. Just as you, she knows the pain of having her child killed by hate. Apparently, in this instance, by our hate; which seems to be sprouting among us, and if left unanswered and unchecked will destroy the very substance of our soul.
Be like the Shechina, and extend over her your consolations. It is likely that only from there, your healing will grow.
If there is any good to be obtained from these horrific events, it is only from such acts of loving kindness that they will spring.
We men are quick to snarl and curse and strike with an angry fist. It is the inheritance from our fathers, because we are men (some call it testosterone poisoning – I’ve got good case of it myself). We would do well to also value the inheritance from our mothers – kindness, compassion and forgiveness.
Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it. (Tehillim 34:14)
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