I have been home sick for a week now. It started with a cough, well, actually with a post nasal drip and that caused the cough. I figured I had a little sinus infection, but figured also, incorrectly, that it would go away after a few days. I went to work Monday morning, but after a few hours of constant hacking, I realized this was worse than I thought. I needed to see a doctor and get some antibiotic. Pleading illness, I made my excuses at work and prepared to leave for the day.
I went to see my doctor, to get an antibiotic and something for the cough, to give me some relief. She prescribed a Z-pac for me (zythromycin) which is a five day regimen of antibiotic pills that is supposed to be very intense and effective. I have taken this before and with the exception of one really bad time, it has always worked wonders for me. Twenty- four hours after taking the first dose (2 pills) I feel brand new. But not THIS time. This time, it did not seem to do anything for me.
She also prescribed a “new” drug for me called “benzonotate”. She promised me it would stop my cough. Well. It did NOT stop my cough. If anything, it felt like it made it worse. It probably did not make it worse but the fact that I had NOTHING to take to give me relief from the coughing probably made me feel that way.
The cough got so bad that I was brought to the point of dry heaves. It was AWFUL. Everything hurt me: my back, my neck, my shoulders, my stomach, my head. Every cough was so very painful. My head felt like, each time I coughed, my brain was rattling around inside banging against the shell of my skull. It WAS. I also had a sinus infection which added to the misery of my head. The dry heaves gave my torso a major work out.
I drank hot tea, hot broth, and hot chicken soup. I slurped on icy, fruity popsicles, the sugar free kind. I drank tons of lemonade, water, and some grape juice. I tried to eat some solids, but I had no appetite.
I had chills, the kind where my body is shaking and my teeth chattering and I felt like a cartoon character. Clack clack clack went my teeth. I took Tylenol every 5 hours. I woke up drenched. I took hot steamy showers, trying to breathe in the steam.
I called my doctor four times in as many hours, crying, asking PLEASE give me Tylenol with codeine, pills not liquid. The liquid upsets my stomach. Finally, the prescription was called in and I went out so fast. I looked miserable, I felt miserable. But I knew I was finally going to feel better. I got the pills, went home and downed two of them immediately. Within 15 minutes I felt SO MUCH BETTER. And then I slept. I slept and slept. Then I woke up, showered, cleared my sinuses, and took two more pills. And slept. This pattern repeated itself over the next three days. I never had taken that much T3 in so short a time. But I needed it – I had not slept prior to it in three days. So, I needed to SLEEP.
Then, on Shabbat I finally started to feel human again. I even got dressed, and straighten up a bit around the house. I had some visitors. You have no idea how AMAZING that was. When I was in Teaneck, and I was home sick, I NEVER had visitors. Here, I had SEVERAL visitors. It was SO NICE. I was feeling great. And then, Shabbat was over and I got online….
DEVASTATION. The Fogel Family Massacre. Two parents, three children slain, butchered, throats slit while they slept. I was so upset. I was angry. I was VERY VERY VERY angry. How could this be? Where is justice? Where is G-d? I was crying and sobbing and ranting and raving and raging. I do not even know this family. But how? Why? A three month old infant, her throat slit while she slept in her Abba’s arms. This was just an unspeakable horror. I finally made myself go to bed. Of course, I took two pills. I would never have slept otherwise. (I could not even imagine the horror for sweet Tamar Fogel, the 12 year old girl who found her family butchered!).
Sunday. It was a terrible day for me. I was very depressed. ALL DAY. I could not get this out of my head. I spent a whole day, mourning, trying to make some sense out of all this. But my anger was really getting the better of me. And then, I started to see some beautiful posts. Exhortations to be positive, to do mitzvot, to perform acts of chesed, to daven with kavana, to understand that this IS part of G-d’s plan and we need to both accept it and believe. Believe that He is doing what is best for us, even if we do not understand it. Slowly, slowly, I began to lose my anger. Slowly, slowly I began to gain clarity and regain my normal sense of positivity.
And then I experienced it, like a flash. The answer. Aliyah. The answer is aliyah. It is the ONLY valid response to this, to the current state of affairs for the Jews and for Israel. Never, in MY lifetime, has there been so much unabashed anti-Semitism in the world. Never, in MY lifetime, have the Jews been in more danger than they are now. We are seeing a world that rivals the world of Germany and Europe in WWII, a world that rivals the Nazi extremism and pursuit of the decimation of the Jews. Only now, it is called Islamism, not Nazism. But it is the SAME THING. The same methodology is being used, and the world is responding the same way—by turning the other way, pretending not to see what is happening. When it comes to Jewish blood, the world does not care. The Jews have been and will always be the convenient scapegoats for all the ills in the world.
The Nazi’s were wholly dedicated to the extermination of the Jews. In fact, even when they knew they were losing the war, going to lose the war, they sunk inordinate amount of resources in to killing as many Jews as possible. The Islamic movement is wholly dedicated to the extermination of the Jews. Even if Israel did NOT exist, and even if there were NO Jews in all of the Middle East – they would still be dedicated to the extermination of the Jews. They want a world with NO JEWS at all, anywhere.
Well, they are going to be sorely disappointed. The Jews are here to stay. It is G-d’s promise that we are here for the long haul. The Jews have always survived. Most of our oppressors have come and gone. The Philistines, Romans, Babylonians, and others, have all come and are gone, forever. But we are here, and here we will stay.
But Israel is our home, will always be our home and is our only home. Aliyah is the answer.