Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Nakba Day

 

In the Arab world today is called Nakba (Catastrophe) Day. Why? Because on May 15, 1948, Israel became an independent state. For the Arab world this was a disaster, a major tragedy. Think about it! With 22 countries of their own they could not countenance Jews having even ONE. Do not believe the anti-Israel hate has anything to do with Gaza or the so-called “occupation of the West Bank”.  No, it is solely because of our mere existence.

Monday, May 13, 2024

Memorial Day in Israel

Now, in 2024, it’s not Remembrance Day, rather Remembrance Year. That was my takeaway from the Shilo Memorial Ceremony last night. So true. How many of our precious soldiers have fallen! How many terror victims! How many funerals! How many condolence calls!

When will it end? Not with a ceasefire. No, sadly a ceasefire just gives the enemy time to rearm, rebuild tunnels, and plan our annihilation over again.
It will end only when our enemies return our hostages, stop firing weapons at us, and finally, finally accept our right to exist.
Tonight, we will begin our Independence Day with heartfelt prayers of thankfulness for what we have and pleas for true peace. Our celebrations will be subdued this year. Too many families are mourning. Still, we will remind ourselves that had a program like October 7th occurred 76 years ago, before the State of Israel existed, we could have done little except bury our dead and say Kaddish. Now we can defend ourselves. We can and will continue to do so, no matter what the USA, the UN, the EU, or any college students say.
Am Yisroel Chai! The Jewish people live! We will not commit suicide!

Sunday, May 5, 2024

Still Praying

 

I don’t understand. Your generation did everything you could to avoid fighting in Viet Nam and now, by moving to Israel, your husband and sons will be serving in the army.

That’s an approximate version of my father’s reaction to my original Aliyah plan. For various reasons that plan did not materialize for ten years. By the time we arrived in the Holy Land, the army was not interested in my middle-aged husband.  As the years passed, though, my boys were inducted. This latest war has had four of my sons, two whom I gave birth to and two who married my daughters, in uniform and in various degrees of danger. My father’s words have come back to haunt me over and over again.

Do I regret coming here? No, a resounding no. Do I wish there was not a war? Most definitely. Am I proud of my sons? Without a doubt.

Writing these words, only one son is currently in uniform, and the media is giving us all sorts of mixed messages. Are we poised to enter Rafeh or on the verge of a ceasefire? As my husband stated yesterday, we are full of mixed feelings. We want our son home with his family. Yet, at the same time, we long for this war to end with complete victory over evil and everyone, captives, soldiers, injured, evacuees, home safe in body and spirit. Can that happen without continued fighting? Only HaShem knows the answer, so I continue to pray for miracles.

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Praying

 

After almost three months my son is back in uniform, stationed near the Gaza border, poised to go back into his tank. As always, I’m praying he, and all the soldiers, stay safe, are able to do their jobs, defeat evil, bring true peace so everyone, the hostages, the evacuees, the injured, and the soldiers can come home safe in body and safe in spirit.

Sunday, April 21, 2024

Home for Pesach

 


When my oldest son entered the army. our family acted as if no one had ever been a soldier before. Proud is not the word. We took pictures, bought presents, sent him off with goodies, and welcomed him with open arms every time he had leave.

His first Pesach we were thrilled to have him home. As the holiday drew near a year later, he warned us not to expect him to get out. I was disappointed but understood. He would be out of the army in the summer and the following year, if all was well, he would be home for Pesach.

Erev Pesach morning of that year, while I was working in the kitchen, I happened to glance out of my window. Walking down the street was a young man in a green uniform. As he drew nearer, I saw he had my son’s gait. Another couple of feet closer and I knew it was my son.

“I don’t believe it!” I shrieked and went flying out of the house and down the street with my apron on and happy tears running down my cheeks.

“What’s wrong?” my son asked, rather alarmed.

“Nothing,” I sniffled. “I’m just so happy to have you home.”

We all were. Since then, I have yet to tell that story to a mother who has a child in the army without her getting teary-eyed.

That was a quarter of a century ago. Now there are so many who won’t be home for Pesach.

My thoughts naturally turn to my neighbor, Ditza Or, whose son, Avitan, has been held in captivity for over six months. I allow myself to daydream of him coming home. Of course, it wouldn’t be a surprise. The whole world will know when the captives are released. Journalists will be all over. And we, the people of Shilo, will stop whatever we are doing and greet him with songs of joy and tears of happiness.

I understand that we have no idea what condition he or any of the other hostages are in. I realize they may never come home. But Pesach is the time of miracles. Just last week The Almighty made a major one saving us from the over 300 projectiles fired at Israel from Iran. He will definitely make more and so I continue to beg and plead for the safe return of all our hostages, soldiers, injured, and evacuees, along with the complete end to evil and full redemption.

Best wishes for the best Pesach ever.

Monday, April 15, 2024

Countless Miracles


 

So many emotions here since Friday afternoon. I entered Shabbat trying to put my concerns for Binyamin Achimeir on the side. Shortly before candle lighting, I’d learned the fourteen-year-old shepherd had been missing since midmorning when his flock returned to the nearby farm without him. Search parties had been looking for him all day. Throughout Shabbat we heard the planes hunting while we said special prayers for him. He was finally found Shabbat afternoon, brutally murdered.

That tragic news became back page when we awoke Sunday morning to learn that Israel had been under attack from Iran all night long. Somehow my husband and I had slept through the sirens, the booms, and the sounds of the Arabs celebrating in the nearby village.
In my opinion, their celebration was nothing short of stupidity. They were in as much danger as we were. In fact, even though most of the over 300 projectiles fired at us were repelled, several did land. One was in the Arab town of Um Fakam and the other in a Bedouin village in the Negev. A young Arab girl was seriously injured.
It was unnerving to know I’d slept through all the attacks, and I felt quite distressed Sunday morning, worrying what the next minute would bring. As the day wore on, I began to appreciate the miracles Hashem had made for us. I ended my day attending a gathering on Zoom along with over 600 others to thank and praise the Almighty for all the good He had shown us.
True, our hostages are still missing, the war hasn’t ended, the Hezbollah threats have not disappeared, numerous of our soldiers are wounded, the evacuees are not home, Binyamin Achimeir and so many others are dead from terror. I can concentrate on all this OR I can give thanks for the tremendous miracles HaShem made for us Saturday night and Sunday morning. I choose the latter.
Now, on to Pesach preparations and more thanks for the countless miracles wrought over the centuries.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Remember

Today is Rosh Chodesh Nissan, the first day of the Jewish month that holds Pesach, Passover, the holiday of redemption. What will this Pesach bring? How many families will have empty chairs at their Seder Table?

The world has a short memory.  After six months many have forgotten what caused the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. They’ve forgotten the horrifying pictures of families being kidnapped, women being raped, babies being murdered. They’ve forgotten that Hamas rejects every single proposal Israel makes for the release of the hostages and a ceasefire. They have forgotten that there should be no deal at all. All the hostages, from one-year-old Kfir Bibas to Amiram Cooper, aged eighty-four, should be released without any deal because that is basic human decency. They’ve forgotten that Hamas started a war that Israel doesn’t want but we will have to finish because our very survival depends on it.

Please! Make them remember October 7th