Monday, September 17, 2001

Yesterday evening, at the intersection of Blossom Hill and Almaden, a major suburban intersection in San Jose, a large crowd had gathered at each corner, waving flags and banners that read "Honk if You Love Freedom!"

We had met my brother for dinner just a few doors up from that corner. From six o'clock, when we arrived to wait for a table, to eight o'clock, when we had finished our meals (and margarita's), the honking never ceased.

I understood that the organizers of this action meant it in support of the US troops who will soon be called into battle, and as a statement against those who would deny us our way of life - concepts I fully support - but, still, I found the display disturbing.

War is not something to enter with car horns and cheering. It is something to enter quietly and soberly, with prayers and meditation.

We didn't ask for war, but it has come to us anyway. I can, and will, accept that we are going to fight but, please, don't expect me to be happy about it and, please, don't ask me to participate in a pep rally.

Tonight begins the Jewish new year's holy day of Rosh Hashanah (literally, "Head of the Year") and an eight day period called the Days of Awe which culminate next week in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Like millions of Jews around the world, my thoughts and prayers will be focused on the events that began last Tuesday.

I will pray for Mayor Giuliani and President Bush, for our troops, for the families of those victims from the attacks so far, and the families of those victims yet to come, whatever their nationality, for guidance and calm to come to our leaders, and, most of all, for a swift peace.

I'll be saving my cheers and car honking for the end of the war, when those responsible have been brought to justice, our soldiers and civilians are safe, and we can declare victory over terrorism. That's when you'll see me on a street corner waving my flag.

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