I consciously tied the laces of my Vans this morning thinking that if G-d forbid I had to run and hide, I could.
Last night I had heard about a pro-Israel rally taking place downtown, and immediately researched the various ways to participate: Metra and Public Transit. In the end, a friend and I were able to catch a bus departing from a local shul. After arriving two minutes before the bus's ETD and after the giddy excitement had worn off, came the painstaking watch checking, foot tapping, divergent eye conversation making, that accompanies waiting. One (not two)school buses arrived 35 minutes late, and my friend and I sat on the floor in the center middle runner. Tensing my leg muscles to the beat of "staying alive," I was able to resuscitate my circulation during my awkward straddle. Ironically enough, this bus "plopping" reminded me of cramming onto the Bet Shemesh Eged bus on Motsei Shabbasas and being situated in monkeylike maneuvers that everyone unspokenly approved of because they had done it themselves the Saturday night before.
What I observed/partook in today:
1. An international Shema recitation
2. Hundreds of Jews making an effort, and using their lunch breaks not to hold conferences, but flags.
3. A sign with an IDF solider smiling that read "He is spending his honeymoon in Gaza."
4. A black pastor that bellowed "Let me hear somebody make some noise"
5. Learning, at an open beit midrash program my friend developed, in merit of friends and family raiding through copious southern tunnels
Today I got attention not for the mascara on my lash or sway of my strut, but for the the flag on my back, sign in my blistering hands, and song in my spirit. Today I was not made of vulnerable flesh, but of the immortal fabric of Israel's flag. It felt so good.
I could have worn flip-flops