Islamic Jihad Helped Me Find My Bravery

I’m sitting over my computers, bleary-eyed, weary and pale clicking through eBay. My favorite designer Eileen Fisher again. Yes, I’m powerless over Eileen but this time I have someone besides myself to blame – Islamic Jihad.

Two days ago they escalated their rocket attacks over Israel. The target area is all of Israel. Last I heard rockets landed in Beit Shemesh a short half-hour drive from my home. Thankfully I didn’t hear a red alert, the euphemistic name giving to the gut piercing sirens set off by the Israeli army’s home guard whenever a rocket is nearby but my nerves were jangled enough to lead me into a sleepless night followed by an early morning online shopping spree.

Terrorism is like slime. It makes the whole word seem creepy. Every creak of the door, every whistle of the wind, every noise from the street makes me shudder. Has a missile landed? Are the neighbors going into shelters? Running away? And here I am at seven in the morning giving Hamas just what they wanted, a tense, groggy and dysfunctional.

Of course, that’s the goal and today Islamic Jihad has scored a victory over me. I’m shaky and addle-brained and I’ve ordered myself a skirt and bid for a sweater.

I like to think that I’m a believer. Every night before I go to sleep, I say the Adon Olam prayer which ends with the haunting words. “And in your hands, I surrender my soul, when I’m asleep… the Lord is with me and I shall not fear.”

I believe that nothing is random. Every bullet and every missile has a name on it. When it’s my time to go I’ll go. I also know that the Higher Power’s plan is not my plan. Most of the time it isn’t not the things we worry about that are the actual disasters. I learned this the hard way when my 11-year-old son sustained a serious head injury requiring brain surgery while riding his bicycle in broad daylight just outside my door (thankfully he wore a helmet and even more thankfully he recovered though he lost half his hearing in the process) Who could have imagined.

Today I’m going to block out shopping – there’s an app called Freedom that does that and tonight I’m going get some sleep. If it takes me a while I’ll use a meditation mantra taught in Alcoholics Anonymous. Breath in Higher Power, Breath Our Fear and I’ll remember the Adon Olam. The Lord is with me. I shall not fear.

And who knows; maybe that skirt and top will work out in the end.