It’s hard to write this.
I don’t really want to, but I saw something today that made me realize there are people out there that cannot say what I am going to say, but desperately need to.
So I’m voicing it.
A few days ago, my husband took my daughter to the bus. We need to go to a bus stop in a different neighborhood – one where we don’t belong.
There were signs plastered to the wall behind the bus stop.
Cartoons…pictures of scary looking monsters in IDF uniform chasing sweet looking kids with side-curls…and of course, three young boys were standing in front of the posters, taking in every minute detail…absorbing someone’s agenda casually.
We’ve seen this before.
Once, my daughter picked up a piece of paper in the park. I didn’t notice until she had already pointed out the bad chayalim. I ripped it up in anger and couldn’t explain any of it to her.
I just said it was garbage…and we don’t pick up garbage from the floor.
My husband tore down those posters, as if that could change anything. People walked by and looked, but no one stopped him.
Today, I was on the bus. I got on at the beginning of the line, near the train station. A soldier sat in the seat in front of me.
I barely noticed him until I saw the flash of white and green…
And I realized that he was changing, on the bus…
He buttoned his white shirt up to his neck…and it was only then I noticed the beard and the black kippah.
He fiddled with his shoes and peeled off his pants, revealing the black pair he had on under the green. Then he began to tuck in his shirt.
It took two minutes for him to transform.
The green was stuffed into a giant shopping bag, and a man wearing a different uniform sat in front of me.
I messaged my husband.
There’s a chareidi soldier on the bus changing into a white shirt.
He has to or a 4-year-old will call him a nazi.
He’s changing everything, even his shoes. And he has black pants under his uniform.
My husband responded.
Can you blame him?
I looked at him again. He wasn’t even that young. He probably had a family.
No, not at all.
Just makes me sad.
I really wish I could tell him he looked holier in green.
I got off the bus a few minutes later.
There were posters hanging on another wall…
And I am certain I won’t live to see redemption.