Toldos 5775 – Terrorist Attack in Har Nof

And Esav said to Yaakov, “Pour into me some of this red, red pottage, for I am faint”; he was therefore named Edom. (Bereshis 25:30)

This past week Wednesday at work, I was talking with a non-Jewish co-worker after lunch and mentioned that I did not have much of an appetite. The reason was because I had a virus last week and haven’t totally recovered yet. My co-worker, though, said, “Is it because of what happened in that synagogue in Israel yesterday?” He meant the terrible event that happened in the shul in Har Nof.

Esav comes home after a long day of doing sins and finds out that his grandfather, the great Avraham Avinu, has passed away. What’s his response? Pour some red stuff down my throat. This event did not affect him.

What my co-worker said to me bothers me. Have I become so used to seeing these terrible terrorist acts that they do not affect me anymore? Sure, I say Tehillim and pray for the welfare of those injured. But I continue eating. I do not lose my appetite.

This past week, I was stopped behind a few cars that were making a left turn. The front car had an opening and didn’t go. Suddenly the person behind her starting slamming on his horn for her to go (I was the third car in the line). The woman in the first car, opened her front door and screamed out, “I’ll go when I feel it is safe enough for me to go.” It occurred to me – the other drivers on the road are “people” also. When we honk at others, we are honking at other “people”.

When we hear about those who are murdered or harmed, those people are “people”. They have families. They have wives and children. There have friends and co-workers and relatives. They are “people”. And I just continue eating as normal.

Of course, we should not starve ourselves or become depressed. But we do need to be careful that we don’t just go through the motions when we hear of another terrorist attack. We need to be affected. We need to lose our appetite, at least for a few minutes. We need to cry. We need to daven a little harder. We need to be affected and change.

May we never have to see or hear about anymore terrorist attacks. May we see Moshiach and peace in the entire world!

Good Shabbos!
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