Terror and trauma can, we know from experts like Dr. Peter Levine and his work on Somatic Experiencing, become imbedded in the bone and tissue. It can go right down to the cellular level and be held there, embraced there, entrapped there for a lifetime. It can continue to affect our emotional and psychological responses, shape or reshape our very characters. It can affect how we respond to sounds and sights, fleeting images, and future expectations. The roar of a passing bus, the face of a passerby, the smell of burning garbage may, for the terror victim, set off a series of uncontrollable responses, some conscious and obvious, some subtle and subterranean, all affecting negatively, often viciously, the life and behavior of the "victim".

While we tend to think of terror as that moment when the bus explodes, G‑d forbid, or the bullet is fired, in fact terror can continue its ripple effect, like a shockwave without end, well into the future. There is no "road map" to the end of terror for those who are already its victims. There is no hudna, no truce, no peace for the mothers and fathers, the children, the bereaved who continue to suffer as if the attack was yesterday or will, in their psyche, be again tomorrow.

For many of them, the world was turned upside down and inside out in an instant. In a literal flash. The goodness of the world became like a childhood fantasy of better days gone by, replaced by the ever-present fear of unexpected evil, a questioning of the very foundation upon which the world stands, upon which trust and faith once claimed their place. Yes, the sun will still rise in the morning, but there is no longer any assurance of what the dawn will bring.

Writer and orphan David Eggers, writing about the sudden loss of both his parents describes it this way: "...the unshakeable feeling one gets, one thinks, after the unthinkable and unexplainable happens — the feeling that if this person can die, and that person can die, and this can happen and that can happen... well, then, what exactly is preventing everything from happening to this person, he around whom everything else happened? If people are dying, why won't he?...a black sort of outlook one is handed when all the rules of impossibility and propriety are thrown out. Thus, one starts to feel that death is literally around each and every corner... that whatever is out there that snuffs out life is probably sniffing around for him..."

For many terror victims, faith and trust in the very safety of the world, in the very goodness of the world, has been shattered. And while "diplomatic solutions" are sought to end this possibility for the future, for the terror victim the past remains the present and is moment by moment being projected into tomorrow.

What can be done?

First, to know and remember. To not be deluded into the thinking that the past and its effects so quickly heal. To know that there are thousands of people for whom terror will continue as part of their daily lives.

This realization will bring about a desire to help. And for those who live far from Israel their way will be mostly through money. As they have in the past, so, G‑d willing, will they do in the future: they will donate to help ease the pain — the victims' and theirs. For the pain and sorrow of the terror survivor or bereaved is, through the unity and bond of one Jewish soul to the other, their pain. And from their pain, they will seek to soothe the pain of the other, their fellow Jew in Israel.

Donating money, while only one part in the healing of survivors and the bereaved, is good. It helps ease the financial stress for families and allows grieving to occur without infringement from the electric bill and bank overdraft. For some, it allows healing to occur in a room now cooled by a new air conditioner. It enables a wedding, a bar mitzvah or summer camp for children. Later, it may allow for a career to be pursued, a possibility for a future dream that can temper the horror of a sorrow-laden past. For many, it puts food on the table and clothes on the children.

More than that, the money serves as a physical demonstration of the caring of others, even those thousands of miles away, who recognize and join in the suffering and seek to alleviate it any way they can. It is a fledgling demonstration that the world continues to be populated by good people, a gesture that helps rebuild faith in the continued goodness and generosity of the world. It is a building block, a ray of light fighting its way through the thick darkness of inexplicable, indescribable tragedy and fracture. It helps heal.

And for those of us in Israel, close at hand — the neighbors, friends, and colleagues, the fellow shoppers and bus travelers, the social workers and bank clerks — there is another challenge. While the goal remains the same — to help rebuild trust and faith in the world, to recreate a sense of safety and kindness — the method is different.

For we must, in our very presence and behavior, exude the kindness and concern, so necessary and precious, that will demonstrate in our smallest acts the goodness and love inherent in our world. We can, through our everyday gestures of concern and gentleness, of politeness in action and generosity of spirit, become a window of a different reality — one that stands in stark opposition and contrast to the hate and violence that has overpowered and over-shadowed a terror victim's reality.

And in a deeper, more subtle way, this challenge rests not only with the immediate neighbors of the victims of terror, but with all of us, their fellow inhabitants of earth. For our every act of kindness, our every gesture of faith and trust, reverberates through the global community of which we ultimately are all part.

We must, in these days of fear, uncertainty and anxiety, find within ourselves and radiate every vestige of faith and optimism and goodness of which we are able. And we must do it consistently, and over the long haul.

The trauma of terror can not only be overcome, but transcended. Once broken, the heart and the spirit have the potential to mend and be even stronger than before, more loving and compassionate than before, more filled with faith and connection.

But healing and recovery does not happen quickly. And while we may not be therapists and psychologists able to coax the impact of trauma from the bones and psyche, we can over time, through our words and behavior, generosity and kindness, be part of rebuilding the fractured world of those afflicted by terror and thereby become a healing community of Jews.

We may not be able to take away the fear (and reality) that, as Eggers says, "death is around every corner," but we are fully able to demonstrate that so, too, is life.