Avraham Shusteris
Avraham ShusterisCourtesy

6:00 PM last week

This was the time everyone was nervously waiting for. Social media was buzzing. Phone calls were coming in from concerned relatives and friends. Hamas had announced the timing of its next planned round of rocket attacks against Tel Aviv and the center of the country. Anxiety and gloom was in the air.

6:00 PM

The day had finally come. The moment my son had been waiting for, for weeks. His school had moved to a new building, and all of the students and parent body were invited to celebrate. The choir would be performing and my son had been picked to sing a solo part. As luck would have it, the celebration was called for exactly 6:00 PM.

Did the school not get the memo? Were they still planning to go ahead with the concert? Hamas was planning a massive rocket attack. How could they expose the entire school to the potential danger? Surely the event would be postponed. I called my son’s teacher at 4:00 PM to confirm it was cancelled. He said the plans were to proceed as scheduled.

Are these people normal? At a time like this, we should be sitting near the bomb shelters, not gathering all of our children together for an outdoor concert. The problem was that my son would not budge and if the school was brave enough to go ahead with it, who am I to argue. So I took my son and hesitantly brought him to the school concert.

When I got there, I was taken aback.

Two hundred boys, laughing, singing, joking, just being kids. As if their 6:00 PM was the only one that mattered. Maybe they didn’t get the memo - or maybe they did, but just didn’t care. The fear and anxiety I was feeling for the last several hours just melted away instantly when I saw the sun beaming on those smiling young faces. Those children knew something that we adults seemed to have forgotten. The simple, intuitive knowledge that Hashem is good, He takes care of us, and things will be ok.

These boys gave me the feeling that I am part of a nation that is indestructible. A nation created to spread light in a world of darkness, can not, will not dissappear. These children were the proof. These young care free faces are the next link in a chain which started long before they were born and will continue long after we are all no longer here. Watching these kids gave me more peace of mind than any Iron Dome could provide.

I have heard one of the greatest Jewish leaders of our time humbly say about himself that “No one is irreplaceable.” I never understood what he meant. Every Jew is special and unique. It didn’t seem like a very Jewish concept. But he was right.

Look at the fruit tree. Every branch, every leaf and every fruit is special and unique. But every year, the tree blossoms and new fruit is born. When our situation seems bleak and our future uncertain, look at our children and remember that our nation has within it greatness that has yet to blossom. That greatness was planted within us when our nation was born and it reappears in different iterations in every generation. Watch the children and remember that our people is eternal and the best is yet to come.