Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dare We Hope?

If you're on FaceBook, or even if you're not, the word is spreading like wildfire: the Palestinians have supposedly agreed to consider a prisoner exchange deal that would secure the return of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was captured by Hamas in 2005 and held prisoner for almost 6 long years. 

This announcement comes on the heels of an international rally in which 100 communities prayed for the safe return of Gilad. It's a point that needs to be made, that needs to be heard. Prayers are answered.

"Don't get your hopes up." TPH gently reminds me. The Arabs do this. They've done it in the past, and we can't put it past them to do it again. They get our hopes up only to dash them in horrible ways. They've reneged on their deals, they've pulled out last minute. They've even returned dead bodies. They're requesting that close to some 1,000 terrorists be released not only into Gaza, but that they be allowed to return to their homes and families. The complete and utter chutzpa makes my blood boil.

But how can we NOT get our hopes up after davening, praying for this single soldier for so long? How can we, parents of those children who daily have added Gilad to their prayers (some for as long as they have been praying at all) not get our hopes up? How can we as Gilad's fellow brothers and sisters not get our hopes up? As parents? As Jews? As human beings? 

So, I'm trying. I'm trying to stay calm and not get my hopes up. I'm trying to move past being on the verge of (dare I say?) happy tears. I feel tremendously on edge because for once there might be good news. For once there might be something globally Jewish that we can announce with excitement, happiness, and real joy. 

Here's to hoping and praying that this time the news will be ours, and that this time of זמן שמחתנו-- time of happiness and rejoicing be just that.