Kryptonite

Have I mentioned that food is a particular weakness of mine?  (This is why I’m portly instead of puny.)  Keeping kosher outside the home is going to be a big struggle for me, I can tell, because bastard smell molecules waft into the air like they own the place and make me hungry for things.  Today it was fries with gravy.  These may be the last fries with gravy I eat, given that I don’t have a deep-fryer and you can’t get decent fries in Israel unless an Arab makes them (Israelis seem to think cold, soggy fries are tasty, for some inexplicable reason; I blame knee-jerk rejectionism of anything British), and I’ve never seen fries with gravy available in Israel anywhere.

Which sucks, because they were bad fries with gravy, really.  But as long as I keep working here, and I keep having to go into the staff cafeteria to get cutlery to eat lunch (I’m fairly ideologically opposed to using plastic cutlery on the regular), this is going to keep happening.  I guess I’m going to have to start carrying cutlery back and forth with me in my work bag.  And hoping that rogue smells don’t ambush me.

Synagogue Attack in Jerusalem

My heart is breaking today.

My Facebook feed was going crazy this morning, since that’s primarily how I keep in touch with my Israeli friends, especially now that I don’t work with them anymore. Two Palestinian cousins armed with a gun and some sort of bladed weapons (reports are unclear as to whether they were butcher knives, a machete, or both) invaded a synagogue in western Jerusalem this morning (Jerusalem time) during Shacharit and killed four of the worshippers, and wounded six others. A Druze police officer, the first responder to the scene, has also died of his injuries.

The attackers also attacked during the Amidah prayer, the central and most important prayer in Jewish liturgy. It consists of eighteen blessings (it’s also called Shmonei Esrei, or “eighteen”), first praising G-d, then petitioning for blessings or other intercessions, and then concluding. I don’t know whether that timing was deliberate or not, but it sends a powerful anti-Semitic message just on its own.

The Times of Israel has an article. Here’s another article with some pictures of the aftermath. (WARNING: Very bloody!) I’m including the pictures because they’re very powerful images, and I think they need to be seen.

Of course, it was easy to find the connection — turns out a guy I know from my former job (I met him when I was over there, and worked on some of his documents a couple times) knows one of the dead men. Israel is a small family.

Baruch ha’Dayan ha’Emet, and may the families and fatherless children be comforted with the mourners of Zion, and all of Jewish Jerusalem is mourning today…