The Great Unwind

Allow me to summarize last Thursday morning:

There was a Terror Attack Minutes Away From MY Home,
And then I went to a training session on Essential Oils.

7:55 a.m. A few minutes after escorting my two older boys onto their shuttle to school.

There is something unnerving about the sound of a police car. Then another police car. Then ambulances. Then helicopters. Oh, and more police cars. Then the ominous “ZAKA” van.

Being that I live at the only entrance to our construction-zone of a city, I watched as the entire police academy stormed passed my building with wailing speed. My first thought, “This is not good.” My second thought, “Is the front door locked?”

8:03 a.m.

When in doubt, ask your local Facebook group.

OK… it sounds like the whole police force just stormed into gimmel — what happened?!

8:06 a.m.

I have been sitting, feeding my baby breakfast, not knowing whether to cry, pray, or a combination of both in song-form. I am too afraid to look at the news. My friend, who is currently on a trip to Miami, funny enough, responds that there has been an attack. A whole confused thread continues as everyone tries to grasp the facts of the real story.

a woman and child killed? a soldier stabbed on a bus? was the attack on the bus or at the bus stop? was it on Chavvakuk, Achiya HaShiloni or Yecheskel? are both terrorists dead, or did one get away?

8:20 a.m.

My husband comes in, and states rather than asks, “you don’t have your phone.” And I lamely respond that it was still on silent, guiltily seeing that I have missed 9 of his calls. He had been praying in a shul closer to where the attack occurred. Had I known that he did not go straight to work in the main part of our city, and instead was praying on one of the supposed streets where the attack was thought to have taken place, I would have freaked.

Shaking, I am struggling to comprehend, while experiencing this curiously ferocious desire to praise G-d that the Messiah must certainly be at the Proverbial Doorstep. This only increased as the details of the story became hammered out, and the outright miracles came to light.

By now, the phone calls and Facebook messages are rolling in, friends and family checking in that we are ok, that my husband wasn’t the man who was stabbed.


Meanwhile, my friend, who has been encouraging me to get into essential oils, messages me that it happens to be that the founder of the Israel branch of one of the essential oils companies is visiting my city. I have to schedule a meeting with her as soon as possible. Oh, and that I must call my friend beforehand to get the lowdown of what I should discuss in the meeting.

I at first shrug this off.

Talking about essential oils at a time like this? Am I nuts?

It takes a little while to register, but then I come to the conclusion that

yes, I am nuts. We all are. But in a profound and intrinsically necessary way.

The guilt we felt for not being in Israel whenever things get hairy; the incredible pull I have felt for the past month to go to the Kotel.

We are insane.

So I pulled myself together. I call the founder and find out she’s coming in for a training course, and she’s hoping to see me there. I put on makeup and dress smart. I walk in there, ready to display my self-acquired knowledge on the subject, and my excited determination to plunge into this full force.

Many of us are still coping with the scare of last Thursday morning. The lone, young man to have received the fury of the terrorists has since come home and made a Meal of Thanks in honor of the great danger averted. The city has been making adjustments to protocol, and upping security measures.

We’re almost back to business as usual. We’re still inquiring about Krav Maga courses and pepper spray, but that’s been our “normal” for the past month. We’re worrying about money, and comparing notes on parental techniques.

It says in the Talmud that in the end times, true prophecy will return to the world through children and madmen. I am realizing now that most of us are both.

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