It’s been 86 days of war.
That’s more time than modern brain science says is required to form a new habit.
In some ways, I feel like that’s exactly what we’ve been doing…building new habits, new ways of being, laying down new neural pathways to live with the post-Oct 7 reality.
We’re learning to live with a new internal operating system.
There is an us before Oct. 7, and there is (and will continue to be) us forever after.
We are not the same.
There’s no back to how things were.
There is only forward.
As we grow and learn and get more familiar with how to integrate the realities of a multi-front war aimed at our destruction…there are some things about us -collectively- that won’t change.
When Jews build a new home, we have a tradition of leaving a small square of the wall unfinished.
We do this to remind ourselves that no matter how comfortable, cozy, and safe a home and a life we have created for ourselves, we’re not “there” yet.
There’s more to do.
We hold this space as a reminder that Jerusalem, the eternal capital city of the Jewish nation, is not yet rebuilt.
We’re not done yet.
We leave a little piece of our homes unfinished for the same reason we break a glass under the chuppah (wedding canopy) when we get married.
To bear witness to the fact that no celebration is truly complete without the rebuilding of our holiest city, our touch point between heaven and earth.
I feel like I’m learning to carry this unfinished piece inside of me.
So long as our hostages are still in captivity, our soldiers are still at war, our enemies poised against us at our borders…
We’re not done yet.
Like all the generations before us, we must learn how to live with destruction alongside our primal hope for rebuilding.
There is rupture.
There will be repair.
We fight with all our might to repair.
With full and broken hearts.
We will fight. We will repair.
P.S. The picture above is the space we left when we built our home. I use chalk to fill the space with messages and prayers.
This message is a part of a prayer that asks Gd to “Spread a sukkah (a shelter) of peace over us.”