The night before Tisha B’av, I received an email newsletter from the Nevada Jewish Federation that a 23 year old male was arrested. He had a huge amount of guns, ammunition and bomb making materials. He also had a target hit list. Who was on that list? A gay nightclub, a synagogue, and the ADL Nevada office, all in Las Vegas. Luckily, they caught him before he did anything, and they are keeping an eye on everything there now with more security.
When I read it… my heart sank all the way down. Those would definitely be three places I’d frequent if I were already living there. I wholeheartedly accepted my fate when I became Jewish. I chose this life. (Sometimes I still wonder if didn’t choose me.) Becoming a higher target through antisemitism and how I was personally going to deal with it was one of the areas of concern from the beit din. Putting myself at risk. This is my fate.
Does it make me question whether I want to go there or not? Things can happen anywhere. People are evil just about anywhere, just like people are good just about anywhere. I’ve seen enough true crime shows that 99% of the ones are targeting someone they knew over anger/revenge, or if it’s a high profile mass shooting, then it’s an act of hate towards a certain group of people. I don’t know how to make it stop. I don’t like guns or weapons of any kind. I don’t think we should completely ban them (due to security for those who actually use them for the better good for protection) but take a look at some of the countries that don’t have this problem… hardly any unnecessary and crazy murders there. But, I digress. As long as there’s hate in the world (and people of power who expel it), we will have to deal with it in unfortunate manners. I wish people would understand one thing: it has always been “this bad” as far as crime goes…there were plenty of opportunities to cover things up or never hearing about it because of lack of communication, but now that we have constant media…..and the copy cats are learning where to copy from. Sadly. Anyway, I digress.
Tisha B’av. I did fast, but ended up having to eat during the last like 3 hours… I got extremely dizzy and shaking really bad. I read some. I didn’t really do anything enjoyable. I did chores I hated. Those things.
I started looking at the dates of Tisha B’av when the terrible events occurred and the dates always fell from middle of July to middle of August. One event happened on my birthday (Germany entered World War I on August 1–2, 1914 (Av 9–10, AM 5674), which caused massive upheaval in European Jewry and whose aftermath led to the Holocaust.) No wonder July and August are hard for me emotionally.
With the exception of the last 3 years, I have always had a hard time with my birthday (other than the part of never getting to celebrate while in school with friends or classmates because I was a summer baby). I get so excited to celebrate, then kind of back off, because I feel so guilty for celebrating. Well, at least I now understand why. My people were being destroyed… and not just once, but over and over again, during this time. How can you feel good about celebrating when something like that happened?
Karen Maeby (Ahava)