The sun is shining. It’s warm outside. The buttercups, anemone, daffodils and cyclamen are displaying their colors tempting a watercolorist to try and duplicate their beauty on paper. But there are some things that just cannot be reproduced that emulate the real thing. So it is with life. Life itself can reproduce but a single life cannot be reproduced.
Yesterday at this time students at a Jerusalem yeshiva were together studying and preparing for the rabbinate and today they are mourning the death of eight of their fellow classmates who died a so violent and premature death. With the exception of one 26 year old, the others were high school age. Young. They were too young to be taken out of this world by the hands of a gunman.
This is not exactly the type of experience that I had in mind when I came to live in Israel, but this is the reality of living here. So the bad is unwillingly accepted with the good to understand the nature of Israel. A delicately balanced image of peace can be tipped one way or the other. This time the scale precariously dipped to the side of conflict and ultimately horrific bloodshed. The scale will eventually become balanced once again, but at what cost? How many more people, with the potential that these eight young men possessed, will die? How many Palestinians will also lose their lives or choose to end their lives with an explosive belt wrapped around their body?
One thing is made clear today that perhaps I took for granted yesterday. Peace is delicate and hard to obtain. In order for Israel to continue to exist and sustain itself I see now that Israel must remain alert at all times otherwise the holy books of the yeshiva, the holy places that we visit and see will be nothing but a bloodied reality.
We cannot bring back or reproduce the unique lives of the young people lost yesterday but we can work for a reproductive lifecycle that is free from strife, and hatred, and violence. Perhaps we can then be free in our wildest and most creative imagination to envision a calm existance and dare I even say, reconciliation.