If you told your great grandparents the following they wouldn’t believe a word. But it’s all true:
My husband just called. He’s in Efrat, the small town in the hills of Judea, about 10 miles south of Jerusalem, the capitol of Israel. It’s the town in which I lived last year, during my “Year of Living Israelly.”
My husband is in Israel to see the graduation ceremony of our son, who just finished basic training in the Israeli army and is about to enter some combat unit, he doesn’t yet know which one.
My husband had been at the wine store in Efrat — it specializes in wines made in Israel. He was on his way to the big grocery store at the Gush Etzion Junction — the Rami Levi — to buy food for our daughter (who is in the Israeli Air Force) to cook for Shabbat. She asked for boneless chicken, and he wanted to ask me if they had that at the Rami Levi, and if not what he should get instead.
But coming out of Efrat there was a huge traffic jam, and Route 60 — the road to Hevron, where three thousand years ago our father Abraham bought a burial plot for our Mother Sarah, as explained in the coming week’s parsha — was completely jammed going south, the direction in which my husband had to go.
My husband checked the news and found that, right at that junction, an Arab had just tried to kill some Jewish soldiers. It seems the Arab had been detained because he looked suspicious, and while he was being questioned he took out a knife and tried to stab the soldiers.
Savor that — the Jewish soldiers had detained the man who wanted to slaughter Jews. The Jewish soldiers were armed with automatic weapons.
The Arab, after he’d been detained and while he was being questioned, took out a knife and tried to stab one of the soldiers. Such a stupid and pointless act is impossible to understand until you remember that the Arab’s family will now be a paid a pension for this ridiculous, doomed attack. That pension, by the way, is financed in part by U.S. Tax dollars.
The predictable result resulted. The Arab is dead. The traffic jam was another predictable result.
My husband will go to the Rami Levi tomorrow. There will be more traffic, because it’s right before Shabbat, but maybe less if some other genius doesn’t try to stab Jewish soldiers, armed thank God with automatic weapons, who are there to protect Jews who have the wild presumption to live next door to Arabs.
By the way, that Rami Levi is typically filled on Thursdays with Arabs buying produce for their Shabbat – Friday – but they probably can’t get there today either because of the traffic jam caused by the Arab’s attempted stabbing.
If you told your great grandparents, living in their shtetlach of Eastern Europe — where, you can be sure, there was no Jewish army, armed with anything — they wouldn’t believe a word.
Lori Lowenthal Marcus