I feel I need to be honest with anyone who reads this blog but before that can happen, I have to be honest with myself. And sometimes I can feel bad without allowing myself to really know why... until something breaks down my resistance and the truth I've been hiding from is so prominent that I can no longer ignore it.
What is really at the bottom of my general malaise today and my irritability tonight? I don't think it's that I'm coming down with the virus that my husband has right now or even the constant reminder of Black Friday bargains every time I get on the net.
I think it's anxiety. One of my closest friends on earth is sick with cancer, just now coming off a very difficult chemo treatment and living right in Tel Aviv. And I can't do anything about it except pray. Which I do. But clearly I'm also worrying.
I know there are all kinds of arguments, pro and con, about the Palestinians versus the Israelis. I pray for both people and wish peace for all of them. And, having taught history for many years as well as having friends on both sides of the issues, I can repeat the pros and cons of this never-ending conflict myself and even delineate right now, from memory, the various wars that have occurred since Israel declared state hood. I can even visualize the various maps I've had my students fill out over the years and recite facts about each conflict, along with the consequences, etc.
But this isn't a political debate.
And right now, all I want is for my friend (and hundreds of others like her, on both sides of the issue) to be able to concentrate on growing older - which G-d knows is difficult enough - without fighting the specter of man's inhumanity to man.
There have been so many wars in the Middle East over the last 60 years or so and none of them have solved anything, many of them Arab fighting Arab or Persian fighting Arab, not all of them Arab fighting Jew by any means.
Tonight, I think the correct way to diagnose my lethargic state over the past 24 hours or so is to examine my tears.
They fall every time I see a new headline regarding the Middle East right now.
I just want my friend (and hundreds.. thousands.. of others like her, both Arab and Jew) to be able to fight the twin enemies of cancer and aging without the specter of incoming missiles.
And I think tears for this war-torn land are appropriate right now.
After all, Someone much greater and wiser than I shed tears over this very same area hundreds of years ago.
Someday He's coming back and tonight I can't wait for that to happen. In the meantime, may the Prince of Peace bring His peace to troubled hearts in a troubled land. And may He keep my friend and her family safe from all harm.