Give Me Your Chocolate Milk

Stop it.   Just stop.  Please.   Stop asking me why I haven’t blogged about the murder of Ezra Schwartz.   Don’t text me.  Or send an email.  Don’t come over to me at youth sports events.  I grow tired of trying to lie to you.  I will tell you that better writers than I have already said all that needs to be said (including a brave 18 year old friend from Teaneck).  I might tell you that I am too sad to write.  I might explain that it’s arrogant or presumptuous to speak on behalf of this boy or the Jewish people if you are not in his inner circle.   I may well just ignore you.

It’s been going on all weekend.  It has to stop.  Sometimes there is a truth that just cannot be spoken.  Today, I added my voice to the impossibly muted movement decrying the silence by our President, who refuses to speak Ezra’s name.  Who refuses to acknowledge his murder.   Until, a well-meaning friend pointed out that I haven’t either.   And with thousands of readers, I was told, my silence was even more deafening.  He stayed at your house!   He knew your son!

How could I explain that he IS my son.  He simply would not understand.

You see, talk is cheap.   Words are cheap.  Actions are cheap.   Everything is cheap.  Except the life of an innocent 18 year old Jewish boy.

I am so tired.  And sick.  I just am not sure against whom to direct my anger.    And, there’s the sorry truth.  It’s us.  We don’t know what to do.  We cry. We pray.  We hijack Facebook with our valueless expressions of moral outrage. We open our wallets.   We pay shiva call after shiva call.   We established, against impossible odds, a homeland in the desert.   We built the most powerful army in the world.    But we are still losing.   Read the papers.  We are in the midst of a slow death march to another world-wide Jewish destruction.  Never again?  Give me a break.    It’s already happening on campuses,  parliaments, and busy roads all over the world.

A black criminal attacks a police officer in St. Louis and gets himself shot.  It sparks a protest movement heard around the world.  A protest that is still paying dividends.    What are we doing about the piecemeal annihilation of our precious children?   Sharing on Facebook a Jewish media report of Ezra’s murder with our predominantly Jewish “friends?” Hey. Here’s an idea.  Let’s sign a digital petition to have President Obama mention Ezra’s death in an upcoming press conference.  That’ll show the terrorists that Jewish Lives Matter.   I have a friend.   He has become the self-anointed defender of the Jewish people on social media.   He means well.   But I swear to God, if I read another post questioning the order of the universe, I will have no choice but to de-friend him.

Meanwhile, a score of my closest friends and I aren’t sleeping tonight.   It wasn’t just Ezra who was harmed last week.  It was our children who literally stand in his place.  Every day.    If I bring Benny home, do the terrorists win?   Screw the terrorists.  I am not going to bury my baby.  But, will that ruin his new-found sense of responsibility and in the process crush his self-image?  Trust me. I know a little but about this.   A fractured ego is as disabling a handicap as any other life impairment.    Do I lock him down until June?    I cannot keep him safe.    That’s the bottom line and it is terrifying.

What’s the answer?  I have no idea and nothing to add.  Don’t blame me – – you brought this up.

So, I will continue to stay quiet.   Cry myself to sleep and pray for the lives of all our children.   I will go to Israel next week to see my boy and admire him from up close.   And, I will take for dinner any of your children who continue to inspire us every day.  Send me an email.   Dinner is on me.

 

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About aweisbrot

Ari is a partner in the Litigation Department of an historic and renowned law firm located in New York. He has been featured on CBS Radio’s Wall Street Journal Report, quoted in legal and non-legal periodicals, and has been recognized as a “SuperLawyer” in New Jersey and a "Top Ten Lawyer to Watch" in New York. Mr. Weisbrot is a true “client’s lawyer,” representing a diverse range of clients from among the largest retailers in the United States to smaller local businesses to religious and charitable organizations. Ari was appointed by Supreme Court of the State of New Jersey to a three-year term of service on the Committee on Character. The Committee determines the fitness to practice law of each candidate for admission to the Bar of the State. Mr. Weisbrot also continues to serve on the District Ethics Committee (IIB - Bergen County), which operates under the auspices of the New Jersey State Office of Attorney Ethics. Mr. Weisbrot has been awarded an 'AV' rating for his professionalism and the quality of his legal work from Martindale-Hubbell, the premier directory of legal professionals, and has been selected by his peers as a Super Lawyer. In addition, Mr. Weisbrot has written several articles on commercial litigation, which have been published in the New Jersey Law Journal and the Metropolitan Corporate Counsel. A Former New York City prosecutor, Mr. Weisbrot is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law, where he was a member of the Urban Law Journal and a featured columnist in the Law School newspaper
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3 Responses to Give Me Your Chocolate Milk

  1. Alene Brodsky says:

    After reading your message a couple of times, I got a sense that all of those words were your tears. I am the mother of an 18 year old son who is studying in Reishit in Beit Shemesh. He, like your son is an Ezra, a shining light of youthful energy, excitement, and vibrancy. I cry for Ezra and his family knowing that nothing we do can relieve their sorrow. My son’s name is Meir Brodsky, should you see him.
    Alene Brodsky
    P.s. I signed the petition

  2. Debby Wine says:

    Yes and No. Yes, this is terrifying, and Yes we don’t have control over what is happening. No, I will not crumble into hopelessness and despair, or think that we are on a slow death march. From these unspeakable losses we must observe how beautiful and powerful our people are in taking care of the living, and we must each take upon ourselves the responsibility to act with that much more sensitivity towards each other.

  3. Jody says:

    My 16 year old daughter came home to Boston last Thursday morning after 3 months at Alexander Muss High School in Israel. When she texted me from the plane, I felt like I could finally stop holding my breath (and I was in Israel visiting her for 2 weeks when the violence started and didn’t feel unsafe). You put in to words what I have been feeling since I learned about Ezra’s death last Thursday afternoon.

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