As you already know if you’ve come to this blog from breslev.co.il, my kids now go to school in the Old City of Jerusalem. Yes, that Old City, with people (apparently) getting stabbed with screwdrivers, knives, bits of rusty fencing – whatever the Arabs have to hand, basically.
Usually, someone tells me a particularly ‘juicy’ stabbing story five minutes after my kids were just in the same location, or are planning to go there tomorrow, to visit some friend who lives in the Muslim Quarter, or Ir David (right next to Silwan Village) or Maalei Zeitim – that has it’s own machine-gun outpost.
If you don’t happen to be their mother.
If you’re their mother, what else can you do besides making sure you say Tikkun Haklali pretty much every single day, and doing a ‘mini’ Pidyon Hanefesh for them every time they step out the door.
Because apart from one kid who lives in Har Homa, and another from Givat Mordechai, pretty much every single one of their classmates comes to school under armed guard – what’s called ‘levuyi’, in Hebrew.
Sometimes, when G-d gives me a rare moment to catch my breath, I think about the enormous bizarreness of so much of my life right now, and it almost makes me laugh: I mean, Arabs scare the pants off me! Almost as much as having to wear a tichel…
So the fact that my kids go to school through the Arab shuk, and that all their social engagements involve two big ex-soldier guys with guns is still something I often can’t believe.
It’s a constant, daily reminder that G-d is running the world, not me.
I have to work, constantly, to give control of so much of my life back to G-d at the moment, and to do my best to be happy about my present circumstances.
But that’s the true definition of emuna: being happy with your lot.
It’s definitely easier when your kids are going to some quiet, village prep school with excellent academic standards, you own your own house, your husband has a steady job, and you have maybe half a clue of what you think you’re doing and what it’s all about.
That said, I’m actually starting to enjoy the craziness, in a funny way. The other week, I went to Kever Dovid to do a bit of crochet and personal prayer for an hour. I felt so filled-up by that visit.
The Old City is such a holy, crazy place to be intimately involved with. On the one hand, I’m thrilled my kids are there in school, and on the other hand, I sometimes wish they were anywhere else in the country.
But then, my daughter told me an Arab stabbed some people on a bus in ‘safe’ Tel Aviv this morning (she has all the latest ‘Arab stabbing’ news, often even before Ynet), and I realised that G-d really is in charge.
We need to do what we need to do, and trust in G-d’s goodness, and then let go. We’re really not in control.
Of all the lessons I’ve learnt from my children’s school, that’s probably the most important.