Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Lotus Blossom in an Urban Oasis

This photo shows a lotus blossom floating on an oasis’s surface in Sarona Market in Tel Aviv; the scene of tonight's terrorist attack. A lotus symbolizes the journey of the soul, rising from the mud and reaching for the light. Sarona Market was a lot like that — a haven in which people of all kinds reached for a moment of joy. 

Inside there was the stall of an older Arab woman who sold food cooked in gigantic metal pots. A handsome French dude sold fancier cookware. You could buy popsicles, tomatoes, micro-brewed beer and rice paper to make your own spring rolls. Most grocery stores in Israel are sparse (something of a surprise when you get here), so going to Sarona was a treat.

I live about a mile away from Sarona Market, and I walked by often. I was a block away just after nine tonight, when two terrorists started shooting. Four people were killed and more were horribly injured. I heard the sirens but I barely noticed – you hear sirens all the time here. But as I write this it’s four a.m. and I can’t sleep. I'm trying not to hate the killers. I’m trying not to hate the psychopaths who bribed and propagandized those killers to kill. I’m trying not to hate everyone who believes the lies perpetuated about the only democracy in the Mideast, this tiny ancient homeland of the Jewish people, which is basically just a small scrap of desert.

Multicultural Sarona now has uneaten birthday cake and puddles of blood. The sirens are silenced. There’s so much damn mud in the human heart. And I am desperate for light.

Sue Freedland ๐Ÿ’™๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ
UnlikeReply2June 9 at 2:57am
Elmore Reese Jr. Sari, please, please be careful.
UnlikeReply1June 9 at 3:06am
Sari Friedman Thank you Elmore. Actually, I worry about the USA and Europe, too.
LikeReply1June 9 at 3:07am
Elmore Reese Jr. I share your concern about the rest of the world, but I only know one person in Israel right now and I want you to stay safe and sound.
UnlikeReply2June 9 at 3:17am
Sari Friedman
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Marjorie O'Meara Be Safe. Will have you in my prayers. Your post is beautifully written. I felt your painm anger and heartache.
UnlikeReply4June 9 at 3:21am
Sari Friedman Thank you very much Marjorie O'Meara, I really appreciate your words.
Sari Friedman
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Daniel Winter Hold on, girl. Hold on.

Hold on to the light within you. You don't always have to let it shine...
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UnlikeReply2June 9 at 3:26am
Sari Friedman Beautiful Daniel.
LikeReply1June 9 at 3:28am
Sari Friedman
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Mary Friedman Horrible tragedy, shame on the whole world for tolerating such sin. Please keep yourself whole and loving, it's better that way. Miss your light terribly.
UnlikeReply1June 9 at 4:07am
Julie Justin Beautifully written. Thank you for bearing witness and raising your voice.
UnlikeReply2June 9 at 4:20am
Vicki Garcia Certainly worried about you today--keep writing, you are awesome. Please stay safe!
UnlikeReply3June 9 at 5:12am
Sonia Blue Sent you a what's up message....keep going towards the light.....sending love and prayers of healing for all.
UnlikeReply2June 9 at 5:17am
Abby Brunka Sari,, I'm so sad about this.๐Ÿ’– please be safe my love to you.
UnlikeReply1June 9 at 5:21am
Marl Ene Before you go out all of Israel needs to bless themselves with this prayer...ready here goes On the right side of me is archangel Micheal, on the left side is archangel Gabriel, behind me is archangel Raphael ,in front of me is archangel Uriel and over us is the shekianu of Hashem watching over us an protecting us. Amen. Hugs
UnlikeReply1June 9 at 5:29am
Sunny Hester Very glad that you're safe Sari. So very sorry for the loss of life, and those with mud (hatred) in their hearts. May God continue to bless and keep you safe. Take care
UnlikeReply1June 9 at 6:12am
Jennifer Morgenstern Where is the link Sari to this blog I wanted to post it and can't find it although saw it w this post . Wanted to share
UnlikeReply1June 9 at 6:28am
Sari Friedman Thank you here: Lotus Blossom at Sarona Market via @timesofisrael
A while ago, I took this photo of a lotus blossom floating on an oasis’s surface in Sarona Market......
Sari Friedman Or this:
Sari, Sending wishes for a sweet and easy 5776 from Napa Valley. Just came across your…
Sari Friedman
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Liz Fleiss I love sarona market. I am sad. Angry.
UnlikeReply2June 9 at 6:46am
Laura Liora Wilcox Beautifully written
UnlikeReply1June 9 at 9:24am
Marissa Moss Please stay safe!
UnlikeReply2June 9 at 3:47pm
Nagy Rezsล‘ Kรถszรถnรถm kedves Sari Friedman   See Translation
UnlikeReply1June 9 at 5:02pm
Eileen Malone "uneaten birthday cake and puddles of blood" can't get that image out of my mind.
UnlikeReply1June 9 at 8:19pm
David Drapkin Glad your safe. Be careful because it seems these animals are out of their cages. Beautiful writing about a very sad and sobering event.
UnlikeReply1June 9 at 9:44pm
Immanuel Suttner Beautiful post...couldn't find the tears icon on my phone...may the Divine beyond name and form embrace you all in a warm and comforting hug
Neta Basson There's a Tibetan Buddhists mantra - Om Mani Padme Hum- that when you say it, they believe awaken compassion within you. 
When I asked some monk in China about the meaning of this mantra, he told me that literally it means to put the Lotus flower in your heart. Lotus represents compassion, he said. 
So I hope someday soon that the Lotus flower will reach the Terrorists leader's hearts …
...See More
Anne Berson What is wrong with hating the perpetrators of this atrocity? Don't be so PC that it blinds you to justice.
Sari Friedman If all I have in me is hate than they've succeeded at wrecking my inner life. I definitely hate their actions, I hate their hate, I hate the destruction they cause, I hate their lack of empathy. But I will do what I can to have love inside. I do understand what you're saying, though. I really do. Maybe I do still have hate inside if I hate their actions.
LikeReply1June 10 at 4:38pm
Sari Friedman
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Maria Stiltz I miss you... be safe!
Angela Schapiro Beautiful photo and comments. So sad for us all.
Michael Mellon Thank you Sari for your writings and thank you for your acceptance as a friend. As we grieve here today over the mass killings in Orlando, because some deranged Islamic nut got mad at two men kissing, we know that the motivation is hate. It's way easy to hate back, and way harder to love and teach. But we can not become them.
Sari Friedman
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  1. Sheer poetry! Beautifully said, you have truly touched my heart !

  2. Only you Sari can describe such horror with such beauty, humanity and clarity of moral vision. I am awed by your insight, integrity and artful description of both the majesty and the sludge of the human soul as Israelis tragically understand. Bless you my distant yet dear friend. I hug and comfort you from way over here. Stay safe. The world needs you.