No More Closing Our Eyes: It’s Time To Fight

It’s that kind of day when the tv is on ALL the TIME even THIS CLOSE to Shabbat. When people are saying that even the most observant Jews in Paris will keep their radios on for word on the situation unfolding.

The massacre at Charlie Hebdo was a watershed moment for Paris, yes — but it wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last.

Remember Ilan? A young man kidnapped and murdered because he wore a yarmulke? Or what about the little kids and their parents gunned down at a school in Toulouse? Remember them? Remember the synagogues, and the stabbings in the City of Lights?

This morning, people went to do some last minute shopping before sundown, before that time of peace and stillness we call the Sabbath would unfurl its wings over the community… A community grieving for the 12 dead just a few days ago. This morning, a mother and her 8 month old baby braved cold weather to get to a kosher market for who knows what? Ingredients for challah? Probably. Meat? Maybe. This morning old men and young boys walked through the frigid Paris streets to pick up a bottle of wine, or a box of sugar.

This morning, they were taken hostage — an attack aligned closely with the standoff between police and the Charlie Hebdo killers… “If you take down Said and Cherif, we will execute everyone in this supermarket.”

And the news seeps in, in little drips, this torturous sound… because this is not the first, and it will not be the last.

And I’m seeing too many people writing things like “stop the world I want to get off.”

Because they’re tired, too – after too many attacks, after too many “isolated incidents” they’re scared, and it’s the kind of news day when we want to turn off the set, pull the blankets up over our head, and hide from this… from the raging darkness…

Stop the world I want to get off.

JUST STOP THE WORLD I WANT TO GET OFF.

JUST… STOP. We cannot get off.

These attacks will continue. Too many “lone wolves” are circling and howling at the moon for our blood – for the blood of anyone who challenges extremism and hate.

This isn’t the first time, it won’t be the last.

This is OUR world and we must fight for it… rage with it, weep with it….. but keep the light burning…

We need to stand up against evil and against bigotry, we need to keep reaching out for one another in faith and love… but with our eyes wide open so we miss nothing… not the warning signs that tell us when we need to flee, or when we need to  fight.  

And not the tiny miracles that remind us that this place is worth fighting for.

We are Charlie. We are Ilan.