Oseh Shalom

A few Thursday nights ago, my husband met our toddler, infant and me for pizza at the plaza across from our apartment. The weather just started to feel crisp; we laughed and caught up on each other’s day. Around us, our neighbors shopped and ate.

As the siren rose, everyone scrambled for cover. Shock overwhelmed us; there hasn’t been a rocket over Tel Aviv since the Persian Gulf War. Between the noise and the palpable terror from all of the adults, our toddler bawled with fear. The following day, the siren came at naptime. Afterwards, I taught our under-sized, curly-haired two-year old what to do when she heard “the noise”.

Sadly, even with the ceasefire now in place, this is the reality for hundreds of thousands of families in southern parts of Israel.

Before this Thanksgiving, I never fully appreciated what it meant to be thankful for peace. Growing up in the United States, with protective oceans on two sides and friendly neighbors on the others, I took it for granted. Yes, I recited oseh shalom during each Tefillah; at the time, I felt I meant it. But before that Thursday night and the days that followed, I never had to snatch what was most important to me out of a car seat and run for safety because of a lack of peace in my life. And since then, the quiet mantra of oseh shalom has barely stopped.

Rabbi Lauren Ben-Shoshan lives with her two children and loving husband in Tel Aviv.

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About laurenbenshoshan

Rabbi Lauren Ben-Shoshan lives with her loving husband, four amazing children, and an over-large collection of books. They all reside near Tel Aviv, Israel, where Lauren loves the weather but is still searching for a decent Mexican restaurant.

2 thoughts on “Oseh Shalom

  1. Lauren—You may not know we have a connection, and you were even part of my Thanksgiving conversations. My niece, Eleanor, is married to your friend, Mariele’s, brother, Matt; and we were all together on the holiday, joined at one point on Skype by my son, Barney, who also lives in Tel Aviv. So we were talking about Israel and recent events, and your name came up because I knew Mariele had a “rabbi friend” in Israel. So, shalom, it’s a small world; and may you and your (and my) loved ones soon know a real peace!

    • Wow! That is amazing! It is such a small world! It is a pleasure to meet you – hopefully it will happen at some point “in real life”. And yes, living in true peace would be wonderful!!

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