Families in Jerusalem

It’s family. That’s what it’s all about.

Today, I read the sad news that someone’s child at Tzomet HaGush decided to try to run over someone else’s child and got shot and finally died for his efforts. (Please God, the victim of the attack will recover.) Then I read about someone’s daughters who tried to sneak bomb materiel into Israel from Gaza in medicine containers. One of the sisters was coming to Israel for cancer treatment. (Let the full magnitude of that sink in.)

I waited at the bus stop in front of the Jerusalem Mall for my bus. Sitting on the bench, I pondered this tragedy that goes so deeply into a culture whose mother’s milk is tainted with hatred. Happily, my mood was rescued by a young Mizrahi mother and her two daughters.

She set her heavy bags down near me, and began a game of hopscotch with her girls, to keep them busy during the wait for their bus. The three of them were adorable. The little one fell down and bumped her head, and was crying for mama, who promptly picked her up and soothed her.

To distract the little one — at least five-years-old, and quite a heavy basket of girl for her tiny mother — I said, “Refua shelaima lach — a speedy recovery to you — v’ani rotza lomar she yesh lach ema sababa me’od, me’od!” Don’t correct my poor Hebrew. As long as the little one got it, I was happy. She stopped crying, considering my words: You have a very, very cool mommy! It was clear she agreed.

The mommy has been a single mother for a number of years, but is remarrying in a couple of months. Mazal tov! My prayer and blessing is that this new husband will be worthy of her, and that her little ladies will know how very blessed they are to have a mommy who is attentive, fun, positive.

Jerusalem is always a place for me to rediscover what family should be, and in so many colors and flavors, cultures and faces.

How I love this holy City! How it gives me hope that one day, the world will rise above its pettiness and its pointless rage, and will learn from us: It’s all about family. May all the good families on the Earth thrive and grow and completely displace the brokenness that surrounds us. Jerusalem is a great place for the healing to begin.

Ruti Eastman

Posted by Ruti Eastman

Ruti Eastman fell in love with Israel on her first visit, but had to wait 16 years to make aliyah in 2007. She writes about her adventures in Israel, as well as about the family history she wants to capture for her children. She has worked variously as an editor, teacher, artist, radio disc jockey, US army soldier; but her favorite job description is "raises crops of boys." Ruti writes at "Never Ruthless" and her book of collected essays is due out in 2017.

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