The Sky is Falling, for Real!
Last year, hackers broke into the website of a major news agency, and wrote there that a bomb had gone off in the White House and the president had been injured.
It took only 3 minutes for the news agency to deny the story, but in those three minutes of fear and even panic, Wall Street experienced something known as a “Flash Crash” which resulted in a loss of….are you ready? 186 billion dollars.
The cost of the-sky-is-falling.
13 years ago, the window in the room I am sitting in right now was blown in by the force of a terrorist’s car bomb. Two people were killed in that attack that took place at the very beginning of the 2nd Intifada which would ultimately claim about 1000 Israeli lives.
At the time, I lived down the block from where we live now. And when the bomb exploded, even from a block away, the windows of my apartment rattled from the force of the explosion (and the truth was, I continued shaking for several days to come).
Almost exactly a year after that terror attack we bought this home (with brand new windows installed by the government).
At the time, buying an apartment in downtown Jerusalem felt like an irresponsible and even borderline insane thing to do. Back then, at least once a month (or at the height of the intifada, two or even three times a month) I would hear a bomb go off in a terror attack—-on a nearby bus, on Jaffa Rd., on Ben Yehuda, in the Shuk.
I felt fear, even panic, on a frequent basis.
But Josh and I were expecting our third child, and we wanted to put down roots. Most people we told about our plan to buy a home here reacted as you would if a friend said she was planning to purchase a condo in downtown Damascus.
But for advice on important financial matters, Josh and I always consult my Dad.
Josh and I have a secret nickname for my Dad. We call him “the Tsur.” You know the Shabbat song Tsur Mishelo? The song is a reference to Hashem: the Rock of Ages. And my Dad’s like that. A Rock of Ages. Level-headed. Long-term thinking. Immune to the-sky-is-falling.
So when Josh and I consulted with my father about buying this home, my Dad thought for a moment and said, “Buying a house you will live in is nearly always a good investment.”
And soon after that we bought this wonderful home that has been the vessel for so much blessing over the past twelve years.
This past December, the great blizzard of 2013 brought down the majority of trees on my formerly tree-lined street.
Most notably, the 130-year-old eucalyptus trees that were planted when Sir Moses Montefiore established my courtyard were brought down by the wind and ice and snow. Soon after the storm, tree-cutters from the Municipality came and chopped off all the remaining weakened branches from the trees lest they fall on unsuspecting passersby. Our once mighty trees with massive branches full of green leaves were now bare and tragic amputees.
During our weekly Skype call, I told my parents about the loss of the trees. “It will takes years for the branches to grow back,” I told them sadly.
But my Dad felt otherwise. “You will see, Jenny, as soon as spring comes the leaves will sprout right back again.”
I was surprised by his certainty. He hadn’t seen the extent of damage done to the trees. There were nearly no remaining branches from which the leaves could sprout!
But two weeks ago, I was walking by and looked up at our once-mighty eucalyptus trees, and sure enough, they were bursting with bright green leaves.
Transformed from a tragic amputee to a symbol of hope.
A symbol of what happens when I manage to resist the urge to feel fear, to panic, to the-sky-is-falling.
The urge to flash-crash.
And try to be like my Dad, the Rock of Ages, instead.