On Why Silence is Sometimes the Only Answer

The last eight months have been a slow-motion horror show for me. Between the horrifying massacre of Israelis in October and the brutal war that still follows, to watching the Israeli government slide toward totalitarianism and fascism — not to be outdone by the insanity that is the American 2024 election cycle — I’m left raw and empty. July 4th for me, this year, reminds me how far the country has slid from the idea of a United America that is celebrated “just like every year.”

The Shmuley Myers series is about murder: whodunnit, whydunnit, and all that. Seeing the hatred and violence playing out on the two stages I care about wears me down. Who wants to swim in the bloody seas of a murder investigation on top of all that reality?

I know Ukrainian authors who stopped writing some of their books because they were dark even before the Russian invasion. I didn’t understand it at the time, but, unfortunately, I do now.

The fourth book, A Measure of Mercy, touches on that quality. Yes, it’s a murder mystery, but not the glory of gory that can be part and parcel of that genre. There’s more loving and understanding enmeshed with the sadness brought on by violence smashing into a family.

I’ve picked up the (virtual) pen again, hoping I can inject, at least myself, with some recognition that Rachamim–mercy, not pity–will be my anodyne for the coming months.

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