How to build immunity

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin 

Batsheva Sadan lost both of her parents in a terrorist attack. When she suggests what we should do during the current crisis, she speaks from experience: 

“Let us imagine for a moment that the floor beneath us suddenly collapsed. We would feel that everything had fallen apart. We would be terrified. But let’s imagine that we knew there was a safety mattress underneath the floor, that no matter how far we fell, a mattress would be there to catch us.

This is the feeling of immunity: a deep inner feeling that there is something or someone to break our fall even if everything collapses. A feeling that there will always be someone upon whom we can rely and to whom we can return.

Someone who knows that we matter because of our inner goodness, regardless of our past deeds. “How do we build immunity like this? We find ourselves between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, days that teach us that it’s always possible to return, and there is always One to whom we can turn. That there is One who loves us and gives us life anew each day. There is an embrace from above that saves us each time we fall, so that even the great pain we are feeling during these difficult days is given context and significance.

And how do we build immunity at home? In exactly the same way: our children need to know that we are always at their side. We don’t need to frighten them or sell them rosy illusions. We need to show them reality as it is, and mainly to be there with them — in their worries, their emotions, and their imaginings as a continuous and stabilizing presence. We need to be their safety mattress.”

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סיון רהב-מאיר

Sivan Rahav-Meir is a media personality and lecturer. Married to Yedidya, the mother of five. Lives in Jerusalem. She works for Israel TV news, writes a column for Yediot Aharonot newspaper, and hosts a weekly radio show on Galei Zahal (Army Radio). Her lectures on the weekly Torah portion are attended by hundreds and the live broadcast attracts thousands more listeners throughout the world.
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