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Information Overload

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Last week, after the discovery of the bodies of Eyal, Gil-ad and Naftali, I sat down to write about it. But I couldn’t. I’ve never been someone who could process events quickly and spin a coherent, thoughtful, articulate analysis about it. And also, I felt drained. The three weeks of searching and praying and hoping, coming to such an abrupt, brutal end, was devastating. My thoughts were swirling, muddled and emotional and wouldn’t coalesce.
 
Then something else happened. After a few days, after I had some time to let thoughts percolate, I still couldn’t write about it. Because by that point, I was so tired and spent from reading about the topic—article after article, blog post after blog post, one Facebook discussion/debate/fight after another—that I said to myself, “Is this what the world needs right now, another blog post?” No, I decided, it really did not.
 
Then events continued to spiral out of control, as did the virtual ink spilled about them. Riots and rockets, Jewish extremists kidnapping and killing an Arab teenager in an act of revenge, national hand-wringing and finger-pointing, whispers of “Third Intifada” and way too much talk about “us” vs. “them.”
 
Again, I found myself at a loss for words, written or otherwise. And while I’ve been following the news closely, I’ve stayed away from blog posts and op-eds on any of the topics. It’s become Information Overload and my head and heart need a break.
 
I have no insightful analysis or cogent arguments or emotional response. I cannot possibly try to figure out what’s going on, much less what’s coming next. Or what we should do about it, how we should respond, what we should say. And definitely no thoughts on What All of This Means for the Jewish People and Israel. (However, if these topics do interest you, I promise, get thee over to any of the English-language Jewish/Israeli news outlets and you can have your fill).
 
So I am turning inwards. I will continue praying for the families of the murdered boys, hoping they can find comfort and figure out, somehow, how to live their lives without their beloved children. I will teach my own children—along with myself—that there is no “us” vs. “them.” That there isn’t a battle for who lives, dies or mourns better. There is only making sure you are doing and being your best. Do what is right, even when it’s not easy or popular. Choose words carefully. Feel empathy for others, even if you don’t like them. Much of this has already been said—the Torah has, in fact, given us the blueprint to live as a just society: “Pursue justice.” “What is hateful to you, don’t do to others.” “Take care of the orphan, widow and foreigner in your midst.” Etc., etc. It’s nothing new; it’s our job—my job—to implement it and live up to its standards.
 
So, this is all I can do. This is my only response. 

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