It is so hard for me to put together a blog post today. Everywhere I turn the news is not good. I continue my job search today with a heavy heart as I think about everyone living in Israel. We know so many friends who know and love people who live there. I have family in Tel Aviv who are thankfully safe. But the social media posts and text messages have been ongoing.
I thought I’d try to stay off of Facebook this morning to give myself a break. I had no interest in opening Twitter/X, which I’m sure is filled with messages of antisemitism and hate. I don’t need to see any of that.
As I do every Monday, I logged on to LinkedIn to look for new jobs and start applying. I was surprised to see that LinkedIn was chock-full of supportive messages about Israel, the hostages, the safety of its soldiers, and the war against terrorism.
Even on LinkedIn, everyone seems to be distracted today for good reason. It’s not just me.
This morning, I took a walk and tried to enjoy the beauty of this day despite what is happening in the Middle East. And then, out of nowhere I started humming a song to myself. Feeling a little better, I took a selfie and posted it on Facebook with my Star of David necklace in full view. I also shared the following story.
I bought this necklace at a Hanukkah Bazaar years ago for no more than $40. I have gotten many compliments on it every time I wear it. Each of the six points on the star forms the colors of the rainbow. In the middle of the star is the Hebrew word and symbol “Chai” which means life. (Side note: Chai is not pronounced like the tea. You have to make the “kh” sound as in challah).
Anyway, last week I was in The Fresh Market by my house and the woman at the cash register wished me a Happy New Year. I looked at her strangely and asked how she knew I was Jewish.
She smiled and said, “Your necklace is beautiful.”
I thanked her and told her she made my day. I forgot I was wearing it even though it is always a part of my wardrobe.
It goes with everything.
It goes with me.
That was last week.
This week, I know some people who are afraid to wear their Stars of David jewelry in public or choose to hide them under their shirts for fear of hateful remarks that may come at them. I understand this, and I don’t blame them one bit. But as you can see from this photo, I wear my necklace for everyone to see. Of course, I am afraid someone might come up to me spew their hate to my face. But just like the terrorists on 9/11, I don’t want them to win. I can’t. I wear my necklace for the same reason that I still fly, travel, go to concerts, and enjoy life. Terrorism cannot win.
I also believe in the kindness of strangers, like that cashier. My faith is everything to me, and it tells me that Israel is strong. Her people are strong. Our community is strong. But, I know we are also hurting, so please check in on your Jewish friends, neighbors, and colleagues. Call your representatives to say you stand with Israel and they should too. And if you feel compelled (and are able to) make a donation to places like American Friends of Magen David Adom (Israel’s version of the Red Cross), please do.
Oh, and the song I was humming during my walk this morning was “The Hope” by Jewish musician, Rich Recht. Is it too soon to hope? Maybe. But it reminded me that sometimes hope is what gets us through the dark times. Please take a moment to click and listen and keep praying for peace.