The Surprise at the Supermarket
Yesterday morning I saw something which made me smile and snap a photo by the entrance of the supermarket: hamantaschen. In a variety of flavors. On sale, even.
Not only that…but when I got to the checkout line an older man in a leather jacket was actually buying a box.
Purim is still 93 days away (yes, I counted.) AND, I’m not certain I’ve managed to fully digest my final latke. AND, as of last night, the Givat Shaul water tower down the street was still lit up with a gigantic Chanukah menorah on top.
But, no matter. This supermarket is already getting ready for Purim.
Funny Jews, I thought.
A few weeks ago, we went out for Shabbat and our hostess pointed out the words of the Shabbat song, Yom Zeh L’Yisrael, which I’ve been singing for over 20 years, but never paid much attention to…
The words of Yom Zeh L’Yisrael are:
“Shabbat of Rest,
The heart’s love, of a broken people.
For suffering spirits, an extra soul.”
Our hostess pointed out that for many centuries this song was the reality of the Jewish people—weekdays spent in the shadow of persecution and antisemitism and suffering, broken only by the holiness and miraculous joy of our Shabbats and holidays.
And she said she had never been able to relate to this song’s depressing description of Jewish life–of a broken people with suffering spirits.
This morning, I was returning home on a bus I rarely take, and the driver, to my surprise, left me off at the bus stop where the terror attack a week ago today took place.
It was an eery feeling to get off the bus there, to remember the screams, the terror, the blood at that spot, now guarded by a bunch of policemen and soldiers.
And then I saw this sign, posted by the children from a local youth group as a response to the terror attack.
And I thought of those premature hamantaschen and that lit-up water tower and that Shabbat song. And I felt grateful for the lighthouses Hashem has provided us, the broken people with the suffering spirits…
Which enable us, even after so many weeks, and centuries, and even millenia, to remain…
Am Yisrael Chai.