I’ve not written much, if anything, about Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel. Nor have I weighed in on the absurdity of the campus protests or the Owellian epithets slung at the State of Israel, nor the intellectually bankrupt solidarity of those completely ignorant of Jewish history, Israel’s founding, and the Palestinian leadership’s steadfast self-miring in victimhood, bloodlust and their futile intentions to rid the world of Jews. We Jews continue to find comfort within our traditions. We draw on our forefathers’ and our foremothers’ resilience. There is so much to say and nothing to say.

This evening, in celebration of Israel’s 76th Independence Day, our local Jewish Federation hosted a Walk the Zoo in White and Blue. For three hours Jews from all across metro Detroit came together to enjoy a pizza and falafel dinner, sing Israel’s national anthem, catch up with friends, stroll through the zoo to enjoy God’s creatures in all their striped, horned, feathered, and furred glory. Security was tight. A bomb-sniffing dog and his handler passed by a time or two. It was startling and delightful to realize how safe we felt, how free. For three hours the madness dropped away leaving normality in its place.

In Deuteronomy God commands us, “I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse — therefore choose life!” There are those whose stated goal is to wipe us off the face of the earth. They haven’t succeeded and they won’t. This I believe with all my heart, because Jews choose life. Every time. 

                                                  Martin and me with our dear friends at the zoo. In white and blue!