The Jewish blogosphere exploded with posts about the slayings of Mishpachat Fogel in Itamar more than a week ago. I say slayings because these weren't simply killings. It wasn't murder. Humans kill, humans commit murder. Slayings are committed by monsters, inhuman creatures that are not of the same dust as the rest of us.
The weird thing about this horrible event -- and that's a really weird statement to make -- is my initial reaction to reading about the slayings. In the deepest, most anguished parts of my guts, the depths of my everything, I had a feeling. A sensation. A yearning.
In that moment, I wanted to move to Israel, to the settlements, to set up shop, to plant my feet in the ground and have children. To say to the world "I am here!" In that moment my neshama was there, in Israel, screaming at the top of my lungs for the loss of precious, young life.
It was a bizarre feeling to have, largely because after three trips to Israel, my pull to Israel has waned. Birthright left me hungry, my second trip in 2009 pushed me further, and I began pleading with Tuvia to consider aliyah, and then, out of nowhere, on our trip in 2010 ... I felt funny. I didn't feel that spark. I even wrote about it here on the blog.
So where does that leave me? Frustrated. Angry. Watching footage from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and consider the destruction in the Middle East and the slayings of an innocent family, I'm frustrated. I don't know where we're going, where we've been, or how we'll pull ourselves out of the mess we've put ourselves in. What I do know is that Mother Nature conquers all and that when we're done destroying each other with our man-made weapons and hatred, HaShem will know what to do with us.
And maybe, just maybe, I'll be in Israel to see what HaShem has in store.
You can donate to the Victims of Terrorism Fund on the OU website. May the Fogel family and all Israel be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.