Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day 11 of the War from Netivot

Today was a fast day. I have a medical condition and a rabbinical dispensation that allows me NEVER to fast. But, outside of drinking water, I chose today to do so. I felt that we are in such need of "rachamim me'shomayim"- loving kindness/ compassion from heaven that I chose to take the chance of feeling poorly. I do feel poorly, but not from the fast. Rather from the stress.

As my husband returned from praying Mincha at shul he noticed a huge column of smoke coming from the direction of Gaza. May G-d watch over our boys! Yesterday the radio reported a claim by the Chamas about the kidnapping of two soldiers. I burst out crying and went to light a candle to the great saint, Rabbi Meir Ha'nes. I prayed the report be propaganda alone. It was. So why in heaven's name did our radio pass on this heartache without the IDF's clarification? Why does our idiotic media show graphic pictures of civilians in Gaza? There were no graphic pictures of my dear pupil Ella Abukasis, may Hashem revenge her murder, lying on the ground after receiving a piece of shrapnel to her spinal cord!

Why do we not, as the Americans do, forbid the media from covering funerals? It only disheartens the public! As one newscaster said today, to my great surprise (as they are so universally dovish,) "The soldiers of the IDF are intended to guard the public and not the other way around. Sadly war includes casualties." May G-d grant there be no more!!

We had one rocket alone today with no siren sounding. I have cried today several times over little things. Hearing about the demonstrations in support of Israel for example. I guess the stress of being ready to run to our protected space after 11 days of sirens and explosions is taking its toll on my psyche. Once again I ask myself, how in heavens name have the people in Sederot and other local settlements lived this way for almost eight years and been able to deal with it? How have they remained sane???

Hearing about today's demonstrations in support of Israel, I recall my days at Stern and later Touro College in New York City where I finally completed my degree. I remember being roughly pushed aside by mounted police as we demonstrated outside Arafat's hotel when he was first invited to speak at the U.N. in 1974. We were singing songs such as, "Ki Lo Yitosh Hashem Amo..." with Shlomo Carlebach's niggun. We were all young women, modestly dressed and not at all posing a threat. We were however still sharply treated until the young men from Yeshiva University joined us from uptown.

For that entire week our lessons were suspended at the college as we studied outside the U.N. behind barricades. My decision to make aliya on completion of my studies was already firm, but only became more so when people walking by spit at me and yelled, "Why don't you get the he** out of here and go to Israel? We don't need you Jews here!" I ask myself when will ALL Jews abroad realize that their safe haven is really not so safe. I hope they get the wake up call before it is too late!

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