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December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
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From Sderot To Newtown To Shushan: Placing Tragedy In Perspective


“God is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” wrote King David (Psalms 27:1). When there seems no safe spot left in the world, when even a quaint New England town is under fire, we turn and seek refuge Above. The real celebration of v’nahafoch hu reaffirms our trust in the only Source of true stability and safety.

We rejoice in the recognition that God is in control, no matter what and no matter where. It is this realization that is the source of uncontainable, unshakable joy.

Sometimes it takes the ground underneath our feet shifting to realize we never were standing on solid ground after all. Sometimes it takes the complete reversal of expectations to realize expectations never were meant to be depended upon.

“I’m from Connecticut,” I tell curious Israeli inquirers. Near Newtown? Yes. Near Newtown. Are you scared to go back? No. I’m not scared.

“Are you scared to live here?” I ask in return. Here, surrounded by enemies? Here, surrounded by constant contention and controversy? No. We’re not scared.

God is watching both my homes.

About the Author: Hannah Dreyfus is a junior at Stern College for Women majoring in journalism. She currently works as managing editor of the YU Observer and an editorial intern for The Jewish Week. Her work has appeared on Aish.com, The Times of Israel website, and in The Jewish Press. She hopes to pursue a joint degree in journalism and law.

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