News junkies (and most blog readers are a subset of them) can easily lose perspective, compelled as we are to endlessly respond to immediate events. So here's a spot of perspective.
Yesterday I was talking to Moshe Z, a member of our congregation. Moshe looks like a robust 70-year-old, but since he's got an Auschwitz number on his forearm he's got to be in his early 80s. Last week his first great-grandchild, a girl, was born to one of his granddaughters. Moshe was telling me how emotional it was for him to have a fourth-generation descendant. He then went on to tell that this is being a good month for him. First, the great-granddaughter. Then a few days later, his second-youngest grandson (of eight) joined the IDF. Next week another granddaughter is marrying.
I congratulated him on the birth and the wedding, but was a bit hesitant to classify the grandson's enlistment in the same category of joyous events. "No, Yaacov, you're wrong about that. For those of us who came from Europe and know how important this country is, the privilege of seeing our sons serve in our army is something to celebrate".
"May he return in peace", I said, and we shook hands on that.