The goal of every mother is to create a war-free world for her child. We must teach our children the value of non-violence. Given the recent escalation of events in the Middle East, I’ve thought a lot about the innocent people of the region. They did not want this fight. They did not choose for their lives to be disrupted; to be endangered by the violence of bombs and gun fire. I cannot help but think of how these daily impressions will stay with the children as they grow into adulthood. Will they, too, think and act in violent ways, accepting it as the norm? Is anyone counseling them, embracing their innocence and protecting them from these horrors?
When I cut this little bit of Hebrew from the newspaper, I had to trust that it had been interpreted correctly and that I could do justice to the idea of beginning a new year in the midst of war. I wanted to depict the horrors of living in a war zone (despite my admitted ignorance of this) without actually showing body parts. The blood red of the flames and the dark black, menacing branches reaching into the scene have, hopefully, sent that message. The monster looming behind the innocent child figure was in the paint drips. I cannot take credit for putting it there, only for noticing its presence. It was, incredibly, just there. If I could pluck this child from the page and put him into the loving arms of his mother, I would do so.
My wish for the coming year, and for all time, is that the children of the world learn to love, above all. To love and respect the value of human life. To know that each human being has potential far beyond their own dreams and goals. No matter their ethnicity, the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, no one is born with hatred in their soul. Hatred is learned by what is said and done in the presence of children. Do not be one to spread the horrible disease of hatred to the next generation.
I bid you peace.