Friday, June 20, 2014

A Heavy Hearted Nation #Bringbackourboys

Two are mine, two are DD's, and three are for Gilad, Eyal, and Naftali
There used to be a joke in Israel that if two Israelis meet and they haven't found some connection between them within five minutes then one of them is a spy. We are a country of 8 million people, over 6 million of them Jewish, living on land the size of Wales. That's a hell of a big family.

Nine days ago three of our sons were kidnapped. The last time this happened it took five years to get Gilad Shallit back. The time before Nachshon Wachsman didn't make it. Every night there are prayer vigils reciting psalms around the country, some of them attended by thousands of people. The extended family of Jews around the world, another 7 million or so, are also praying, campaigning, doing whatever it takes to keep this in the international media.

There is a concept in Judaism known as segula. It means a charm and it is usually a bit of superstitious magic masquerading as religion. Examples are wearing red ribbon to ward off evil, eating from the challah bread broken by the bride and groom to help you find your betrothed, praying at a dead Rabbi's grave, reciting psalms for a change of fortune, and dabbing the blessed wine marking the end of Shabbat, behind your ears for good luck in the coming week.

So some people are calling for all Jewish women to light three extra Shabbat candles tonight as segula to bring back our boys. I'm not into segula as a practical solution for anything. I don't recite psalms or pray in any formal manner. However, tonight I will be lighting three extra candles in solidarity with my extended Jewish family throughout the world and mother-to-mother. I will be thinking of the three mothers going into a second Shabbat not knowing where their sons are and of course their three sons whom I hope are at least not suffering.

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