No title can fit the horrors

We just returned to the U.S. a few days ago from Israel. We missed this community and had a lot to share about our visit there. But the last few days have been a waking nightmare. We have friends who’ve been killed, kidnapped, wounded or unsafe. Everyone does.

A tragedy on a massive scale happened on October 7th. A coordinated attack initiated at 6am by Hamas, sent to butcher as many Jewish people as possible. Attacked by land, sea and air, a joined invasion of more than 3,000 rockets and hundreds of armed terrorists towards the cities of Israel’s south. It began at the army bases, murdering everyone they passed, then to cities. Going from one house to another, butchering entire families, torturing them and dragging them screaming back to Gaza. Men, women, children, elderly and infants. All. The last time so many Jewish people were killed on the same day was during the Holocaust. Israel hasn’t experienced this terror since the Yom Kippur war, exactly 50 years ago.

We are heartbroken and devastated. We are worried sick and have been glued to the screen since it started. Israel is caught off guard, and we are still counting casualties. Hamas is taking pride in that, publishing videos and pictures of the victims as trophies. Families had to find out their loved ones have been killed or kidnapped from videos on social media. This war crime being committed against citizens has one target alone – to eliminate the Jewish people and to destroy the state of Israel. Jews and Arabs alike were killed that day, every soul that was in their way. And that goes both for the citizens of Israel and the Palestinians who are the residents of Gaza who refuse to obey Hamas. No one is safe.

And the only thing I could think of, is whether to stay and continue my role as Shaliach here or go back to the reserves and fight. This is a decision I am not yet ready to make, and doing something, anything, helps me to cope. But there are some heroic moments to take pride in. There have been people fighting bravely to save their friends, families, neighbors… and some have paid the ultimate price. Not just soldiers, people. Children. The IDF is at 150% capacity, every single person who can fight has volunteered. And we will win, whatever it takes.

I’m sure I am not the only one. We gathered yesterday to mourn together. Pray, light candles, and talk about what we can do to help. And there is a lot. Israel is still figuring out what is needed, and we are doing our best to understand them and share them with you. Together, as a community, supporting each other, and our families in Israel, we will win. Am Yisrael Chai.

Stay safe.

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