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This is not the first attack that has occurred in Israel over the past few weeks or in its greater history, but this one has shaken me to my core. As I went to sleep reading the initial reports, I felt scared, but had no idea of what was to come. I found that out when I woke up and checked Facebook in bed like I do most mornings.

I am religious, but not overly so. I am naive, but only in an optimistic sense, seeing the good in the world like only a 20-year old can. This is not the first attack on a synagogue in Israel’s history, but this was the first that happened with me, Miriam, as a conscious adult realizing what was going on. I always saw the synagogue as a safe place, complete with a G-dly special force field keeping watch over each and every one of us while we pour our hearts out and daven. That’s what I was told in elementary school, and it’s a thought that kept me going in shul. It might be a childish belief, but sometimes that feeling of protection and attention is what keeps some of us praying. Today, that perception has clearly proven to be flawed, and I am still struggling to process it.

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When it comes to Israelis and Palestinians, I am not so optimistic about peace. Although today doesn’t leave much room for hope, I know there must be some who are good people in their hearts.

I pray for the day when they value Jewish prayers as they value their own. I pray for the day that synagogues around the world are not seen as targets of terror, but as the centers of peace and understanding, holiness and unity. I hope that events like the one that occurred today will not be seen on my newsfeed or be a part of anyone’s reality ever again.

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