Jewish people have tried to settle in a territory – any territory – for thousands of years. But for just as long, Jews have been forced, beaten, and terrorized into leaving – be it Europe or Israel. About 29 years ago, my father, who was tired from the stress of war, relinquished his trust in the security and future of the Jewish state. He decided that our family needed to emigrate, so we left Israel and got on a plane to Boston, leaving behind family and friends.
My family landed at Logan Airport one day before my sister’s birthday on September 6, 1984. I was only 11 months young at the time. Both my parents barely had $10,000 in their bank account, but they were hoping that my mother would strike gold with her PhD program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – an institute that her professor in Israel told her she would never get into.
During the 1990s, there were numerous terrorist attacks in Israel. When there was news of a bomb in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, my mother would rush to the phone and call every single family member she knew – hoping, praying, begging that they were alright.
Every unanswered phone call was like a shock to her nervous system. Petrifying questions would surface: Why aren’t they picking up the phone? Why aren’t they home at this hour? What if they were on that bombed bus?
Too many innocent Israelis and Arabs lost their lives in the name of God over the last 20 years. And sadly I have become used to this crude state of life. I’ve accepted the fact that terrorism will never wither.
Upon hearing news of the Boston Marathon bombs, I wasn’t shocked. I felt numb and a severe amount of pity. Pity for the people of Boston. Pity for this entire country.
The pity I felt was caused by the unfortunate reality that September 11, 2001 was not an anomaly. America – the country my family came to for opportunity and security – is now just as threatened as Jerusalem.
Yesterday made me realize that my proximity to Israel has no correlation to safety anymore. A part of the Middle East – the part that nobody likes; terrorism – followed me into Boston.
Do I once again flee with the family? Run away from the major cities of America and off to a safe town in Canada where I will be free from terrorism – free from mass murders – free from all this nonsense that I thought was over with?…
No. Because no matter how many thousands of miles you travel, evil is inescapable. And even if you try to run, what about those you left behind? Can you live on knowing they’re back home suffering without your help?
My father told me yesterday that he will be very sad the day he dies. “Why?” I asked.
“Because…” he said. “I’ll be leaving my children a world that’s much more evil than my father left for me.”
It made me stop and think, why should I bring a child into this world? What is the point? If from this day forward I can’t feel safe in a large crowd, why should I put that burden onto my sons and daughters? Why bring a child to face this terrorism and fanaticism?…
But all that was my pessimism talking – something I got from my father.
The truth is, we, as a society, must outlast these futile, hopeless, Godless sons of evil. Tomorrow, just by continuing to live, we are defeating those who hate us.
It’s your existence that will win this war on evil. Tell yourself: My ‘good’ tomorrow will outlast their evil today. My generation and my children will be the ones who bring peace and justice after days like this – because without us, a just world doesn’t exist. That’s why I will have children. Their good will bring fear to evil.
Everyone in this country is now responsible for the war on terror. I’m not asking you to pick up a gun and break down doors – the FBI and military are going to do that for us. The best way that you and I can fight this war is to seed the world with the goodness of our hearts so that evil will be outnumbered.
We found Bin Laden, and he was supposedly the most unreachable man on earth. So I’m confident somewhere out there, the people responsible for the Boston bombs are shivering in their skin because justice is always served.
I hope my child (or children, if I’m lucky) reads this one day and understands how important they are to this cause. Don’t ever let someone evil keep you down. Get up tomorrow morning and do your job.