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Danita and Michael Aziza

 
DANITA AZIZA: LESSON #38-TO KNOW WHEN IT IS ENOUGH

Danita Aziza , October 28, 2011

How is it that we never seem to love our kids enough, be smart enough, good enough, handsome or pretty enough, accomplished enough, rich enough or lucky enough? We are oftentimes compelled to stretch ourselves beyond, many times beyond what we could genuinely define as being enough.

There are many times when I long for it just to be enough.
 
Gilad Shalit, the young Israeli soldier held captive in Gaza for over five dreadfully long years was about to be released according to reports that spewed from the television screen on an otherwise ordinary Tuesday evening. We huddled, watched, reveled and shed tears of joy for a boy who was truly so much a part of the collective Israeli conscience. I had never before felt connected in such a way to a family I had never met or knew so little about and yet my emotions mirrored those of a relative, say an aunt or close cousin. Gilad was coming home and I wanted just to be happy, nothing more than that.
 
Much like the symbolic braking of the glass under the Jewish wedding canopy, the soldier’s long awaited release was tempered with reminders that joy and sorrow, fairness and injustice can all be inhaled in the same breath. Barely hours after the cabinet approved the deal that would set Gilad Shalit free in exchange for the release of 1027 Palestinian prisoners, many of whose hands were stained with blood of the young and innocent, the mood in the country shifted from that of unadulterated elation to something a bit less. Unfortunately it was not enough to just be thrilled.
 
For sure you can argue the justness of the deal that transpired and whether or not it should have even taken place. There has, no doubt, been endless discourse both inside and outside the Country on this, but if you look at how Gilad Shalit’s release was handled you cannot deny that somehow the country knew exactly what would be enough in terms of his long awaited homecoming. Gilad Shalit, the returning soldier fragile in body but obviously strong in character, was welcomed home by Israel’s most senior political and military officials first with a salute and then with a hug. The greeting was dignified and warm almost like the boy himself and even the crowds that lined the route leading to his home were just enough in terms of buoyancy and numbers. Even though three quarters of the nation’s population, a rather startling number given the Country’s propensity toward dissent, supported the deal that was made, there was tremendous restraint in celebration and sensitivity shown to the families of the victims of terror who have had to suffer well beyond what is enough.
 
Days have turned into a week since Gilad came back home. The boy whose silhouette was seen all around the country, on pieces of cloth tied to tennis courts, on billboards and on stickers stuck on to car rear windows, has been left in privacy to find a rhythm that will ease him back into what is hoped to be a normal enough life. The usually curious public has managed to come to terms with the fact that details of Gilad Shalit’s life aren’t so much our business now, because knowing that he is home is somehow really enough. 
 
There is no element of life in Israel that is void of complexity. Nothing is simple. Gilad Shalit’s release symbolizes the roller coaster of existence that seems to always hover overhead here. I try to explain to those who ask about the reality of living in Israel. Well, I begin, in any place you have your own life filled with the highs and lows the struggles and triumphs. In Israel, however, you have that and this whole other layer of life that isn’t as personal, but impacts you nonetheless.   You may not know Gilad Shalit personally, but the circumstances of his life, the price paid for his precious freedom become intertwined with your own. Concern for just that which is yours is simply not enough.
 
There are times when you must block out that which you do not want to contemplate. It can be too much to have to weigh all the sides, especially all the intricacies of something so not straightforward, so filled with dilemma and an overabundance of emotion. As far as having Gilad Shalit, a son, soldier, a citizen back in Israel, back to a living a life he so rightly deserves, just to be grateful certainly has to be enough.
 
I along with so many others have done much thinking these last weeks. I’ve come to realize that while it can be hard to know what is enough in terms of the small things in life, to determine limits for those things that have ramifications beyond our self is exceedingly difficult, if not at times impossible. Code of law, sound moral judgment and intuition that directs us toward doing the right thing is what we are given to guide us. After that, well, what you have left is hope and prayer that this will somehow be…enough.
 
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