Trying to stop physical abuse against a woman and failing…A terrible story
It was a Saturday morning and I was tired. The night before there had been a big family Friday Night Shabbat dinner and we all drank a lot of wine and sat and talked for hours. I looked at the clock before going to bed and it was four am.
I was in the synagogue at nine and was half asleep when I heard a couple of kids come running in. I slowly opened one eye and they took seats in the back. I would guess they were about nine and ten years old. One was a boy, the other a little girl. They were also rowdy. I looked across the aisle at the Mother and she was a petite blonde woman. She seemed to be somewhat nervous as she kept looking around and I wondered if it was a result of having two kids who seemed full of unlimited energy.
The Rabbi was talking about an upcoming event, and I could see the woman perk up, maybe she was planning to join the community. More people slowly filtered in. I was starting to feel more awake.
The Torah reading was very interesting and the Haftorah (a special reading) resonated, it was called ‘’Zohar’’ and it was about a group called Amolek who in every generation try to wipe the Jewish people out. Amoleks still pose a threat to the Jewish people’s survival. When you hear a major anti-semite spouting nonsense about the Jewish people you can bet he’s an Amolek.
After the service the two kids who came with the woman had a hard time behaving. They were extremely disrespectful to the Rabbi and anybody who tried to talk with them. I minded my own business and stayed away from them all.
As I was about to leave the woman with the kids came into the coat area (where I was standing) and started crying. It made me feel both awkward and very sad. ‘’Uh, is there anything I can do for you?’’ This comment made her cry even harder. I reached out and she backed up. She looked at me like a do in the headlights. I tried to reassure her. ‘’Seriously, I’m sure things are going to be okay for you, just take a deep breath.’’
The woman stopped crying, wiped her eyes, and started apologizing for her waterworks. ‘’Things have been tough. I just moved in with a friend and uh, I am trying to get my life started over, but it’s not easy. My kids have been having a hard time…