No News is Good News

No News is Good News

Here’s my 3 stages of following-the-news since October 7th.
Stage One: For th8e first few weeks of the war I checked the news several times a day. The war dominated my life and my thoughts, and my mood went up and down (usually down, way down) in accordance with the news cycle.
Stage Two: I discovered “Israel News Highlights” an excellent, just-the-facts news summary sent out via Whatsapp 3 times a day ( https://link.mmb.org.il/INH_NEWS). For the first few weeks, I would anxiously FOMO-ize, counting down the minutes til 9:30 AM and then 3:30 and then 9:30 PM. Maybe something huge and game-changing had happened at 11:05 AM and I wouldn’t know for an entire 4 hours and 25 minutes to find out! But I realized that I’m not a politician or a general or a journalist. I’m just a mom trying to stay positive and keep myself and my family and the Jewish people above water in these complicated times. If my news diet meant I had to wait 4 hours and 25 minutes to find out the big news everyone around the world was in a storm about, but also enabled me to feel calmer and more able to cope with Israel’s surreal new normal, so be it.
Stage Three: This past Purim, I left the house without my phone. Like most people, by Purim I was feeling like: I can’t stand this anymore. When is this war going to finally end? I can’t handle ONE MORE WEEK of this. And that whole Purim I barely checked my phone and didn’t check the news. And I had such a wonderful Purim. And felt so much calmer. I didn’t forget about the war. I davened for the soldiers and for the hostages and for a full recovery for our injured heroes. But during my news-free Purim I had a revelation: I realized that I’d had a false belief that following the news was somehow helping. But suddenly I understood, that checking the news* and getting dragged around emotionally by the news cycle and feeling like I can’t handle this war for ONE MORE WEEK isn’t helping the war effort or Israel or the hostages or the Jewish people one iota.
So since Purim I haven’t read the news. Not once. I hear scattered pieces of news, from overheard conversations at the gym, or from my family members, or from my various Israeli good news groups.* And I asked my husband to update me if there are any funerals or shivas in Jerusalem to attend, since that’s a news-dependent mitzvah that’s important to me. But otherwise, I’ve gotten off the news cycle. And I’m not planning to get back on any time soon.
Shabbat shalom!
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