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Fire

Tali Gross

Fire. Around me, all I see is fire. It licks the ground, the trees, the sky, a cascade of colors. It would almost be beautiful if — if it was like the fire that is — was — lit once a month atop a high mountain near my house. It would be beautiful if it was like the fire that my mother lights every Friday night, as our sages have taught, to bring light into our simple home as Shabbos dawns and the sun fades away from the sky. Those fires are beautiful. This fire, this fire is dark. This fire is destruction

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

fireBeneath a veil of tears, I look up to find one of the invaders grinning with malice. He is young, oh, he is young, and yet in cruelty he has lived 1,000 years. We have been living on nothing for months and my heart longs to hate them for the pain they have caused me, for the pain they have caused my family; I struggle to rein it in. I struggle with every fiber of my being not to hate. The Sanhedrin tells us that our hatred has caused this destruction. I shall not hate. Around me, all is chaos. The streets are soaked with blood, and the stench of dead bodies that has hovered over Yerushalayim for weeks seems to intensify tenfold, but it now mingles with the smell of salty tears and sweat.

We are rounded up like cattle being led to the slaughter, and we know that the end that awaits us. Suddenly, a cry is heard above the rest, such a piercing, heart-breaking cry that it shakes my very core. With a shaking finger, Reb Yonasan points to the skyline of our holy city and the screams that follow are near deafening. Upon Har HaBayis our beautifulHolyTempleis falling. My heart, already broken so many times over, now shatters into so many pieces I’m not sure how it’s still beating.

 

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