Toes, Terror, and Tears

Posted on March 23rd, 2011

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So for the last few days, I have been undecided whether I should run the Jerusalem Marathon. Various things have come up that have made my training almost minimal over the last month. One problem was my toes. Too much running have taken their toll. I have had all sorts of nasty complications. I  had work done on them but since they still didn’t look right, I took a picture today and e-mailed toe shots to my podiatrist and another friend who is a doctor in the Jerusalem area. We had an e-mail discussion and he said that it looked o.k. for me to run. The podiatrist promised to fix them up after the marathon if I damaged them again.

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So while I had not decided whether I would in fact run, I figured I should head over the the convention center and pick up my entry materials — just in case I chose to do it.

Then the bomb went off.

Suddenly, my toe problems seem really dumb.

A number of friends were inside the hall and heard the explosion. In fact, the course goes right by where the bomb went off. As they were picking up their race numbers and T-shirts, the glass windows shattered.

Since I could no longer go to the hall, I drove home. All the while I was trying to follow the news and process my feelings.

Of course there is anger at the coward who planted the bomb and snuck away. And there is sadness over those who were hurt because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But you know what really pisses me off?

My daughter is scared and I can’t do anything about it.

Between the Itamar attack and today’s bombing, she is scared and asks why does this stuff keep happening?

And my answers and attempts to reassure her sound so lame.

Terrorists do not scare me. I will proudly run the marathon and smile as we run through parts of the city liberated in 1967. I don’t care what my time will be. We must show the terrorists that there is NOTHING they can do that will make us change our way of life. If people back out of the marathon now for any reason, the bad guys will think they have won a small victory.

I will actually sleep fine tonight, and I hope the Hamasniks spend the night in some Gaza hole wondering if the sound of the drone above them will be the last thing they ever hear.

But you know, we can thump our chests and express our platitudes that the terrorists don’t scare us.

The fact is they DO scare our kids.

Children should not have to shed tears in their beds because they are worried about terrorism.

And don’t tell me about  Palestinian kids scared of the IDF. If their parents stood up to the terrorists who use them as human shields, their kids would have nothing to be scared about? Not realistic? In an age where Arabs throughout the Middle East are standing up and risking their lives against the forces of terror, the Gazans do nothing. They wait for their children to die and then wail for the cameras about Israeli terror. Sorry, I’m not buying.

You made my daughter cry you bastards. And there is nothing you could do to piss me off more.

You planted a bomb where my friends were.

If your culture really believes that stabbing babies and killing old ladies on buses are heroic acts, then you deserve everything that is coming at you.

On Friday, several thousand runners will run right by where the bomb went off. And we will say a silent prayer that there will be no more need for children’s tears in the holy land of Israel


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  1. Julie Waldman says:

    Yarden that was really beautiful. Tnx.

  2. Yidamir says:

    That was very inspired writing, especially considering you had so little time between the bombing and the publication of this post. I, too, have a daughter, an olah chadashah, who spends a lot of time in Jerusalem although we do not live there. She was very upset, like your daughter, especially since our son is currently studying there and both of them have a lot of friends in Jerusalem.

    I’m not a runner, so I won’t be in the marathon, but I wonder if there’s a way that your collective “silent” prayer could be made not-so-silently, as you all pass — or gather for a few moments at — that spot on your route.

    Thanks for a great blog. Keep up the good work.

  3. steven wolinsky says:

    I wish that I had the right words to comfort your daughter. I do wish her and all children a future without violence and terrorism. As a sabba with 3 Israeli grandchildren,I empathize with you and with her.
    Today, CBS news radio in NY referred to the planter/ planters of the bomb by Binyanei Hauma in Yerushalayim as “militants”. I do not know how CBS defines “militants”, but I do not think “militants” includes cowardly, terrorist murderers. “Militants” is MUCH too nice a word. I do plan to run past the Binynaei Hauma in the race on March 16, 2012, the tentative date for the 2nd annual Yerushalayim Marathon next year. We will not let terror win.
    On a much more trivial note, I had serious toe problems related to running in the past. Three years ago, I thought my running career was over due to misshapen and painful toes that would get much worse after running. However, thanks to MBT shoes, I have been able to run pain free for 3 years so far. I wear my MBT’s for just about every activity (including work, walking, weddings, shul, hiking, hanging around the house etc.) except for running. I wear running shoes for running only. Most recently, I ran the Tverya Marathon, slowly , but pain free. I have recommended MBT shoes to many friends and patients (I am a physician) with toe problems over the past few years, and almost all of them found the shoes very helpful.
    The MBT’s were initially suggested to me by a foot and ankle orthopedist. Interestingly, most of the podiatrists and running coaches to whom I mention MBT’s are not really familiar with them. The MBT’s retrain you to walk/run with most of your weight on the backs of your feet instead of on the toes. Yarden, I am not sure if MBT would solve your toe problem, but I would recommend that you seriously look into it.
    Good luck on Friday’s marathon.
    Kol Tov,

  4. Dana Hudes says:

    As you point out, across the Arab world there are uprisings of brave to truly brave people. Gazans sit tight in cowardice participating in and supporting the terrorists or trying to ignore it and go on with their lives. By comparison, Egyptians rose up against the secret police and won though some were killed quite a few injured. In Syria they are rising up and being shot by their own government’s snipers. In Libya, they rose up against the dictator and not only they but non-combatants were bombed heavily, shelled heavily and snipers continue to kill them yet on they come.

    West Bank and Gaza residents have the option to rise up — and no dictator can cut off their cell phones they are all within range of Cellcom/Orange in Israel. Yet they do nothing. So they are passive or active supporters and deserving of collective punishment.

    The problem is that the IDF treads fairly lightly and has not established true deterrence. True deterrence is something like obliterating a few blocks with artillery in response to such attacks. Make it so painful that noone will tolerate such terror attacks: their masses should be crying in the street not partying. When the family members of terrorists are shunned and ostracized these things will stop. Whether this ostracism is from moral uprightness against murder or fear of retaliation doesn’t matter.

  5. ima2seven says:

    Posted a link on my blog today. Thank you for writing this.

  6. Batya says:

    Excellelnt, nice strong post. How’d you do?