Every Wednesday night, I attend Chabad at Binghamton's Supper and Study (a forum for Jewish young adults to eat together and reflect upon Jewish texts). The topic of our dinner conversation last week did not focus on how cute my chevruta's shirt was, nor did it center around who's dating who or the unfair professor or the impossible midterm. Instead, we spoke about the tragic murders of six members of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar in the northeast Samaria. We discussed everything from our frustration towards the lack of media coverage to our feelings of helplessness dealing with the turmoil in the Middle East. To summarize, terrorists entered the settlement around 11pm Saturday night March 12th and murdered Rabbi Udi Fogel, his wife Ruti, 11-year-old Yoav, four-year-old Elad and three-month-old Hadas.
When I first heard of this last week, I was initially struck by the fact that while this incredible act of hatred was going on, I was in a place of incredible love, at the 3rd Annual Kayam Beit Midrash. This juxtaposition overwhelmed me and made me infinitely more appreciative of the blessings I have. Called to action, I was motivated to tell everyone I knew about the tragedy, proving that the memories of these lives would not go unacknowledged.
Being that my Spring Break just started, this was my first Shabbos home in a while. In line with 22,951 people (at least according to Facebook), I lit the candles setting forth the kavannah to honor their memory. My parents completed the b'rachot and then looked at me confused. I responded, "Wait, you haven't heard?" in absolute shock. I elucidated the tale.
This really made me think (oh so dangerous). I have been so focused on engaging students and counter-acting what I see as college apathy. Maybe it's not just college students who need to be awoken or disturbed out of complacency. To really unite Jews and people internationally, it is necessary that there is a forum for this knowledge, thought, concern, questioning, understanding and of course, finding. Perhaps this helps explain why my blog is named "FINDING". This is not a completed action, nor one in the future, but rather a constant state of exploration. I'm looking forward to continuing to think and continuing to find.
Before I end, I would just like to thank all of the wonderful people that made this weekend for me. Such blessings. I'm overwhelmed in this state of love. Keep reading!