Tisha b’Av Triggers

My fork scraped the bottom of the bowl. 

I winced. Did I worry that the passing crowd of white-robed men outside my window could hear? That they’d recognize the chintzy sound of kosher cutlery on crockery?

Did I think the chanting of hundreds of Christians, shouldering enormous crosses, would cease in order for them to seize me?Maybe it was my painstakingly thought out decision to leave my curtains open; brazenly flapping in the thick breeze. Announcing to all and sundry that yes, I am a god killer and yes, here I live flippantly among you frying up chips and burning my toast — Just. Like. You.

There was that time my toddler ran into the grand cathedral  in the Town Center, and I actually paused to consider my options before running in after him. My heart pounding, cheeks flaming, his tzitzis flying, I bent to scoop him up and could only hope that in my bend/scoop and run panic, I did not sort of bow down to one of those three immense and severe statues bearing down on us… Chana and her seven sons front and center in my mind…

The Spanish Inquisition. I stand and live on the very spot.

My fear and nerves reminded me once again of my reality, my “place.” This town I call home, brazen curtains and chips and toast. Until when…?

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This town my toddler calls home, tzitzis flying, laughter carrying in the wind. Mother breathless but playful. Happy, even.

Until when?

Until my kid barrels  into the cavalcade goers? Until his mother bends under the cross to retrieve her son, magen David swinging ominously between her child, the priest and her heart..?

The pendulum of fear…always right beneath the surface…

And all it takes is the screech of a fork against cheap, dishwasher-safe china, for it to explode across my world.