A Mother’s Lament for Israel

Spread the word!

Sometimes people are silent about atrocities because they are speechless, not because they are heartless.

I’ve struggled all week to find words about the horrors happening in Israel right now. Ultimately words are often about helping ourselves process secondary trauma more than helping those in need.

All I know is my mama heart absolutely breaks at every news report. I hug my son tighter and weep at how trivial the struggles of my day with a toddler seem compared to the pain mothers across the world are feeling right now.

“Mourn with those who mourn” Romans 12:15b

I keep thinking about all the mamas in Israel, how they are not the first women to weep over slaughtered children (though I pray they shall be the last). Those familiar with the Bible know that Hebrew mamas in Egypt wept over murdered sons and Bethlehem mamas centuries later endured Herod’s massacre of the innocents. Closer to our modern era, whole generations were erased in the Holocaust. The hosts of heaven and history look on and mourn along with them, knowing the pain these mamas feel.

Did Mary think of baby Moses in a basket as she crossed the Nile with her sweet baby Jesus, fleeing from Herod? Following the same evacuation path Palestinian mamas now pray will open to them at the Egyptian border.

Lesser known is the history of the Maccabean Revolts and the horrors the Jewish people endured leading up to their liberation from the Seleucid Empire. This is where the celebration of Hanukkah comes from, marking the miracle of the lamp stand oil burning for eight days to rededicate the temple. But Hanukkah also represented an end to the suffering, a restoration of peace and safety for a generation that had never known either.

Hanukkah is still almost two months away, but I think it’s time we bring out that symbol of hope, of light in the darkness. Our Jewish friends and neighbors are hurting, afraid, and mourning. Let’s put menorahs in our windows to show them they are not alone.

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