Today, Bina took us on a day trip to Jerusalem. The day started out just like any other tour group of Jewish people’s day, with a tour of the old city. What changed the day for me, was having our tour guide sit us down on a rooftop lookout to tell us that there was currently a terrorist attack happening on Mount Scopus, which is also in Jerusalem. At that point, the news we had was that 4 people had been severely injured when a terrorist opened fire at the train station on Ammunition Hill. He then continued with his talk about the Old City and the tour. When we wrapped us that area, one of the madrich in (“counselors”) updated us that the terrorist had been apprehended, and we continued with the day almost as if nothing had happened.
This experience was truly enlightening, if that is even the right word. I have always known that Israelis live with a constant fear in the back of their minds that something could happen to them, their friends, their family, with no warning. And, even so, life goes on. Before coming, I knew of this constant fear, but nothing can truly prepare someone for the feeling of hearing about a terrorist attack happening in the city you are touring or even living in. Even with the news of the terrible event that happened, our tour continued as scheduled, which was a great reminder that life goes on.
Throughout the day, I watched the time to see about when my parents would wake up, knowing that they would hear about the attack, and thinking that I had told at least my mom about my trip to Jerusalem. I wanted to be the first to talk with them and tell them what had happened, and that we were all safe. Of course, I must have forgotten to tell either of my parents that I was in Jerusalem, so I probably just made my mom worry more (I’m sorry mom!!!!!). But, even so, I am glad I was able to hear my parents’ voices and tell them I love them after a day like this one. Unfortunately, there are two more people, not including their families, that will never have that opportunity again.
The latest update I heard about the attack this morning was that two of the injured did not survive, and there were four more victims that sustained injuries. The police did follow the terrorist who also ended up dead. Hamas, the terrorist organization applauded the attack and praised the terrorist. It just serves as another reminder of how life is in the country that I now call home. Again, I want to emphasize that everyone in my group is safe, and that while we were in Jerusalem, we were not near the attack when it happened. But, the day did not end so happily for many others. I just hope that one day soon the land of Israel and ALL of its people can live in safety and peace.
Baruch Dayan HaEmet Levana Malihi and Yossi Kirma. May your memories always be for a blessing.