Tuesday, June 11, 2019

This is not so much a review of the book "The Rage Less Travelled: A Memoir of Surviving a Machete Attack," it’s more a summary of my experience reading it and why I believe this is a must read for everyone, including those not specifically interested in Israel. 

Choosing to read the book

I didn’t want to read “The Rage Less Travelled.” My friend Kay Wilson is one of the best story tellers I have ever met and few stories are more dramatic than that of being brutally attacked and surviving but who wants to read about a gruesome terror attack?

And this isn’t a "horror story," something fun to scare your friends with around a campfire. This story is real and it happened to someone I care about… Just the thought of immersing myself in this deeply painful story made my stomach churn.

Strangely the feeling I had about reading the book was very different than the feeling I had hearing it directly from Kay. I felt honored when she told me about the day she and her friend Kristine Luken were brutally attacked by machete wielding terrorists, what it is like to feel your life running out of you, to know that your friend was murdered and you survived. Kay was there, in front of me - I could reach out and give her a hug. I could share a sliver of the pain and feel stronger as a result.

Life is sacred thus the moment of death or almost-death, is also a kind of holy moment. Kay made me part of that and, I think she unconsciously shielded me from some of the horror.  She made sharing the story a gift, not a burden.

While she was struggling to write the book, I repeatedly told Kay that if she wrote the way she talks, the book will be incredible. I knew it would be hard for her to write but I also knew she would succeed and that the result would be very powerful.  

And that is why I was afraid.

I knew the story. I watched “Black Forest,” the documentary about the attack - but compelling as it may be, a movie keeps the viewer on the outside, watching the events unfold. Well written and told in first person, a book puts the reader inside the event, granting the reader an experience not their own.

I didn’t have the guts to deliberately walk into the Black Forest. I was afraid to feel my friend's pain and not be able to reach out to her. Somehow, with Kay there, the story is one I can ingest. The tangible evidence that she is still here, that she survived, makes the evil that occurred something my heart can somehow take.

I had to read the book, for myself. For Kay. For Kristine who was murdered because the terrorists thought she was a Jew.

"We Remember" is more than a slogan to be said in reference to the Holocaust, it's a directive that teaches that every life is precious and we must understand the events that steal members of our tribe from us and, whenever possible, we must remember their lives so that at least in memory they can live on. Kristine wasn’t born into our tribe but she chose to be a friend and she suffered as a result. In my mind, that means we owe her.


In a few succinct descriptions, Kay brings Kristine's spirit to life on the pages. This is yet another way of battling the evil of her murder. The terrorists wanted to stamp her out of existence (because they thought she was a Jew). In the physical struggle, the terrorists achieved their goal but in the spiritual realm, Kay’s words ensure their defeat.

The terrorists defined Kristine's death but they do not have the power to define what her life was or what it meant to the people who knew and loved her.    

Through Kay's words, the readers are introduced to a very special woman. One who allowed herself to be enchanted by things most of us would take for granted or maybe not even notice. A woman who drank in experiences through wide eyes. A woman who marveled at the wonders of Israel and by example reminds others to see the magic of this special land. 

Kristine's memory is no longer a statistic of violence or a silent photo but rather a vibrant woman, exuberant and full of faith. Who wouldn't want a friend like that?

The lies PTSD tells and the miracle that is Israel

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a condition most people don’t understand. It’s a term often used inappropriately and too lightly. The problem is that when someone is suffering from PTSD what they need most of all is understanding.

In the USA the statistics for military veteran suicides are 22 (and possibly more) EVERY SINGLE DAY. These numbers are shocking and truly beyond comprehension but they highlight a very important path – it is necessary to learn. To understand as much as possible. Not just for survivors of terrorism and war. PTSD can occur in all types of trauma survivors – following violent crime, abuse and even car accidents.  

Kay provides a glimpse into PTSD which can clarify a lot of issues, help sufferers understand that they are not alone and teach others how to address friends or family who may need help, to be more tolerant and patient with others who may be physically with us in the same room but at the same time are mentally trapped in their own black forest.

"Survivors' guilt" is a bland term that does not address the lies PTSD tells the survivor. Over and over Kay felt that "She watched Kristine die so that she could live." This not the feeling of “I’m sorry that person died” it’s a feeling of being a terrible, selfish, callous person who remained silent in the face of evil for personal gain. It is also an utter lie.

Screaming, trying to act (more than she did) would have gotten Kay killed and would not have saved Kristine. It is beyond comprehension how Kay managed to survive. By all logic she too should have died – but she did not. Would Kristine have wanted them both to die or would she have been proud of Kay for surviving?

Logical analysis of the situation provides clear answers but the problem is that PTSD is not based in logic or cognitive awareness, it is a poisonous loop that the spirit/mind gets trapped inside. Being able to recognize the lies is the first step to addressing them and release the stranglehold they have on the sufferer.

The descriptions of Kay’s thoughts and emotions and the lengths friends went to in order to support her provide insight into the miracle that is Israel. All Israelis have experienced trauma, if not first-hand than second hand. At the same time, an amazingly low proportion of Israelis actually suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is incomprehensible how the people of Israel, instead of being angry and bitter are hopeful and willing to invest enormous energy into making the world a better place.

Kay shines light on these special qualities of Israeli society, our unique mixture of the mundane and the sublime, harshly honest and deeply caring.  

Somewhere over the rainbow

Kay's book isn't about a gruesome attack. It's about hope and survival. It's about love and healing.

The evil of the attack puts the beauty of the people who took care of Kay afterwards in stark contrast. The pain of what occurred is a motivator to try to bring change and make the world a less dark place.

Kay herself is an example of what it is to be a Maccabee. Like Natan Alterman's poem The Silver Platter: "Broken, yet still standing, we are the silver platter on which the Jewish State was given to you."

Stabbed and beaten, her life running out of her body, my warrior friend Kay managed to stand and walk to her own rescue. Tortured by Arabs, she repaid evil with good by helping protect other young Arabs and set them on the path of positive personal development. Kristine’s life stolen, Kay makes sure others remember the vibrant life, not just the ugly death. She also works tirelessly to put an end to the Pay-for-Slay culture of the Palestinian Authority.

Broken, yet still standing.

Kay is like Israel. This is our beauty and our strength. Broken, yet still standing. Wounded physically and in spirit. Together we survive and we love and we infuse good into the world to counter-balance the evil.

Kay's story is an inspiration for anyone who is suffering in their own life, an example of what is possible. Kay’s story is Israel’s story.

If Kay can do what she has accomplished, who are we to say that there is something we can’t do?

We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.


EoZTV Podcast

Podcast URL

Subscribe in podnovaSubscribe with FeedlyAdd to netvibes
addtomyyahoo4Subscribe with SubToMe

search eoz





For $18 donation

Sample Text

EoZ's Most Popular Posts in recent years


Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


Donate to fight for Israel!

Monthly subscription:
Payment options

One time donation:

subscribe via email

Follow EoZ on Twitter!

Interesting Blogs


#PayForSlay Abbas liar Academic fraud administrivia al-Qaeda algeria Alice Walker American Jews AmericanZionism Amnesty analysis anti-semitism anti-Zionism antisemitism apartheid Arab antisemitism arab refugees Arafat archaeology Ari Fuld art Ashrawi ASHREI B'tselem bahrain Balfour bbc BDS BDSFail Bedouin Beitunia beoz Bernie Sanders Biden history Birthright book review Brant Rosen breaking the silence Campus antisemitism Cardozo cartoon of the day Chakindas Chanukah Christians circumcision Clark Kent coexistence Comix Community Standards conspiracy theories COVID-19 Cyprus Daled Amos Daphne Anson David Applebaum Davis report DCI-P Divest This double standards Egypt Elder gets results ElderToons Electronic Intifada Ellen Horowitz Embassy EoZ Trump symposium eoz-symposium EoZNews eoztv Erekat Erekat lung transplant EU Euro-Mid Observer European antisemitism Facebook Facebook jail Fake Civilians 2014 Fake Civilians 2019 Farrakhan Fatah featured Features fisking flotilla Forest Rain Forward free gaza freedom of press palestinian style future martyr Gary Spedding gaza Gaza Platform George Galloway George Soros German Jewry Ghassan Daghlas gideon levy gilad shalit gisha Goldstone Report Good news Grapel Guardian guest post gunness Haaretz Hadassah hamas Hamas war crimes Hananya Naftali hasbara Hasby 2014 Hasby 2016 Hasby 2018 hate speech Hebron helen thomas hezbollah history Hizballah Holocaust Holocaust denial honor killing HRW Human Rights Humanitarian crisis humor Hypocrisy ICRC IDF IfNotNow IJ Benjamin Ilan Pappe Ilhan Omar impossible peace incitement indigenous Indonesia infographic international law interview intransigence iran Iraq Islamic Judeophobia Islamism Israel Loves America Israeli culture Israeli high-tech J Street jabalya James Zogby jeremy bowen Jerusalem jewish fiction Jewish Voice for Peace jihad jimmy carter Joe Biden John Kerry jokes jonathan cook Jordan Joseph Massad Juan Cole Judaism Judea-Samaria Judean Rose Judith Butler Kairos Karl Vick Keith Ellison ken roth khalid amayreh Khaybar Know How to Answer Lebanon leftists Linda Sarsour Linkdump lumish mahmoud zahar Mairav Zonszein Malaysia Marc Lamont Hill Marjorie Taylor Greene max blumenthal Mazen Adi McGraw-Hill media bias Methodist Michael Lynk Michael Ross Miftah Missionaries moderate Islam Mohammed Assaf Mondoweiss moonbats Morocco Mudar Zahran music Muslim Brotherhood Naftali Bennett Nakba Nan Greer Nation of Islam Natural gas Nazi Netanyahu News nftp NGO Nick Cannon NIF Noah Phillips norpac NSU Matrix NYT Occupation offbeat olive oil Omar Barghouti Omri Boehm Only in Israel Opinion oxfam PA corruption PalArab lies Palestine Papers pallywood pchr PCUSA Peace Now Peter Beinart Petra MB philosophy poetry Poland poll Poster Preoccupied Prisoners propaganda Proud to be Zionist Puar Purim purimshpiel Putin Qaradawi Qassam calendar Quora Rafah Ray Hanania real liberals RealJerusalemStreets reference Reuters Richard Falk Richard Landes Richard Silverstein Right of return Rivkah Lambert Adler Robert Werdine rogel alpher roger cohen roger waters Rutgers Saeb Erekat Sarah Schulman Saudi Arabia saudi vice self-death self-death palestinians Seth Rogen settlements sex crimes SFSU shechita sheikh tamimi Shelly Yachimovich Shujaiyeh Simchat Torah Simona Sharoni SodaStream South Africa Sovereignty Speech stamps Superman Syria Tarabin Temple Mount Terrorism This is Zionism Thomas Friedman Tlaib TOI Tomer Ilan Trump Trump Lame Duck Test Tunisia Turkey UAE Accord UCI UK UN UNDP unesco unhrc UNICEF United Arab Emirates Unity unrwa UNRWA hate unrwa reports UNRWA-USA unwra vaccination Varda Vic Rosenthal Washington wikileaks Winstanley work accident X-washing Y. Ben-David Yemen YMikarov zahran Ziesel zionist attack zoo Zionophobia Ziophobia Zvi

Blog Archive