Yom HaAtsmaut and my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yom HaAtsmaut and my Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

On the night of Yom HaShoah I was in a crummy mood. I was feeling down because it was Yom HaShoah and on top of that I’d had a blow up with a family member at the end of Pesach. I later found out (from Rabbi Nivin who speaks with many people as a life coach) that most people have major blowups with family members over Pesach,and that made me feel much better. But on Yom HaShoah I didn’t know that yet. So I was still in a crummy mood about that. And down about Yom HaShoah.
I decided to go on a long walk with my headphones on. I walked for a long time until I got a text message that my big post-Pesach delivery from the supermarket was on the way. So I decided to jump on a bus that said it was going to Binyanei HaUma, near where I live. But instead of going straight to Binyanei HaUma the bus went around and around in circles, the Egged version of “1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back.” After half an hour I was as far away from home as I’d been when I’d gotten on that bus in the first place.
So I got off the bus. And then a minute later I saw a bus that doesn’t come often that goes right to my house. “Hashem, thank you!!!” But it turned out there were 2 bus stops next to each other, and I was standing at the wrong one, so that bus drove right past me.
And then I got on another bus, and the seminary girls at the front of the bus refused for some reason to walk further into the bus, so we were all stuck up in the front by the driver. I tried to tell the girls to move into the bus, but they ignored me. And then that bus got stuck behind another bus that was taking forever loading a lot of people.
So I decided to get off the bus and take a taxi home instead. I ended up getting home about an hour and a half after I’d starting my way home (the good news was that my delivery was also late because so many other people were also doing big post-Pesach orders).
The weird thing was that that whole series of bus mishaps shook me out of my crummy mood. I couldn’t ignore the fact that it was Yom HaShoah, and I was being squished together with crowds of other Jews, not in a cattle car. Not in a concentration camp. Not in a boat of Jewish refugees heading for the Holy Land but rerouted by the British to Cyprus.
I was in Jerusalem, in the State of Israel, surrounded by Jews living as Jews, secure and proud!
There is a midrash that while crossing the Red Sea, there were some Israelites who expressed frustration even during the historic miracle they were experiencing: “”Why did we leave Egypt? In Egypt there was mud, which we were forced to use to make bricks as slaves, and here there is also mud!! What have we gained??”
This week Israel marks Yom HaZikaron for our fallen soldiers and terror victims and Israeli Independence Day.
We can look around modern Israel, and many people do, and see the mud. The wars. The terror attacks. The inconveniences of living packed together with 8 million Israels of different backgrounds and cultures and political and religious outlooks.
But let’s not forget that this mud isn’t just any mud. This is the mud of the splitting of the Red Sea. Mud of healing and holiness and brothers and sisters torn apart for 2000 years come together, finally, finally, the Jewish people HERE. Home🇮🇱

3 comments

  1. One of my favourite books ever – and your sentiments are beautiful and spot-on as well.

    To which I can only add – “Ima says some days are like that – even in Yerushalayim!”

    May haShem transform all our mud speedily into the Geulah Shlema!

  2. Thank you for sharing with us. I usually have lows right after the Chaggim. I think because (just speaking about myself) I put so much Physical and spiritual (I hope) effort into preparing, and then its done. I always need a few days after the Holidays to feel back to myself. On a more personal note, I find I really miss my parents (both my parents have passed) so much after the Chaggim. We get very busy with family over Yomtov but towards the end I wish I could just get a hug from My Mom and Dad.

  3. Ayalah Haas

    I love how you reframed this whole ordeal, which (I hope) made this a non-ordeal for you, Chana Jenny. Thank you for sharing your journey.

    It’s such a blessing to live in Israel!

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