This Shabbat was pretty weird.

First, ten minutes before it came in, someone I don’t really know called me up trying to invite themselves over for Shabbat. My first impulse was to try to accommodate them, but then I realized:

  • I already have guests for Shabbat
  • I was planning to spend a bit of quality time with my oldest kid Shabbat afternoon
  • Being called up 10 minutes before Shabbat is actually NOT OK.

So I politely demurred, and requested more notice next time they wanted to check if they could come for a meal. Of course, I then spent the next 30 minutes feeling guilty about not being a balaboosta-ish ayshet chayil, despite all my reassurances to myself that I’d done the right thing. But it put me in a funny mood.

Friday night, we hung out at home instead of going to the Kotel, as two people got stabbed to death on our usual route down to the holy wall, just outside the Jaffa Gate, and one of my kids was a bit freaked out about it all. Also strange.

Then, Saturday morning I kept trying to do my usual hitbodedut session, but couldn’t stay awake.

I often daydream, but I very rarely completely conk-out. Two hours later, I think I’d managed about 5 lucid sentences, but I had to get up and go to hear Rav Arush speak at the yeshiva, so I called it a day. Weird.

On the way to the yeshiva, I suddenly started feeling so cross and annoyed with everybody – just stam, because. No obvious reason. I walked up to the yeshiva darting arrows at everyone with my eyes. I don’t know why, I just suddenly couldn’t stand humanity collectively, so I sat in the corner trying to listen to the Rav while fighting off a huge ‘I hate everyone’ yetzer hara. Bizarre.

I met my husband outside, and he told me that he’d also just got into two spontaneous small ‘fights’ with two different people, apropos of nothing. Hmmm. Clearly something in the air.

On the way home from the yeshiva, someone stopped us close to our house, to ask us if we were planning to continue on to the Kotel, because ‘the police have just closed the area because  there’s been another stabbing’. I haven’t yet checked the news to see what really happened, but in the meantime, the weirdness continued.

Our guests came and went, very nicely. Then, my kids got into the biggest argument they’ve had for about six months, complete with wrestling, slapping and punching. One wanted to go into the old city for her regular youth group meeting, and the other one was scared because of what our passerby had told us that morning.

It was a monumental struggle between ‘business as usual’ and ‘too scared to go out’, and I had no idea what to do about it all, or where I was holding myself with it all.

I ended up walking the one kid in to the Rova (after we’d managed to find the keys to the front door that the other one had hidden…) and we had a big, emotional chat about what was going on, which was good, but very intense.

Motzash, I came back and my husband told me: ‘There’s a lot of din in the air at the moment, isn’t there?’ I could only agree. I have no idea what it all means, or what it’s all about, but I really hope it dissolves soon.

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