| In the Arms of Rabi Shimon |

Darkness and Light      

The sun can shine while the sky weeps and we as Yidden can do the same

I can’t write about Friday because my fingers don’t have the skill to start typing words and stringing them into sentences that can describe the blow to the heart. But also, I don’t need to explain because you felt it too — the way the earth suddenly rose up and tipped you to the side, knocking you off something you’d thought was sturdy, stable, and safe. And your ears, like mine, must have also hummed from the shock, and when you got up and looked around maybe you also had the distinct feeling that everything in the world had changed, that the stars swimming before your burning eyes were not borne only from the palpable pain, but also because something integral had been torn from you in an instant, and that sudden loss made it hard to stand fully upright. I’m sure I’m not the only one who spent Friday hunched over.

Instead, I’ll write about the way the sun set as Shabbos slipped away and the Jerusalem sky turned a deep color blue I’d never seen before as if the heavens themselves were heavy with tears the color of grief. I can write about the pain that came roaring back as the flame of Havdalah went out, and as we wished each other a gut voch, I thought How? How can it be a good week?

I made a feeble attempt at mopping the floor, then turned to my husband and said I can’t breathe. He nodded because what is there to say?

I abandoned the floors and went into my room. My stomach kept knotting and I knew it was that intangible thing called anguish, only that it was so big, and would have been for one, but for 45… I can’t put this anywhere, I thought. I have no way to process this. And because I couldn’t do the floors nor look at the sink full of dishes, my mind raced through the pain of the parents, then the siblings, the cousins, friends, neighbors, chavrusas, rebbeim…

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