A Message from Israel

Shalom Friends and Family-

Well, never a dull moment here in the Holyland. We all thought that yesterday was the end of the current violence with the ceasefire brokered by Egypt. Apparently, all had accepted it except for the party that started the shooting. A few minutes ago was the largest rocket attack on Tel Aviv so far. Yesterday, an idealistic Jew drove to an army base to distribute food and other goodies to the soldiers, not an uncommon way to help out. His car was hit by a mortar and he was killed, leaving a widow and three young children.

We spent Shabbat at friends’ home in Efrat, a short drive from Alon Shvut. At around seven pm the air-raid siren went off. We all huddled in the stair-well of their home and then heard a loud explosion. It was so close that the whole building shook with the blast. After the all-clear, we emerged and saw that the rocket had landed on a hill about a quarter mile from us. After a few minutes, we sat down and had a wonderful seudah shlishit. The purpose of terror is to utterly disrupt our lives and morale till we surrender in emotional exhaustion.  Israel refuses to allow this to happen and people return to “normalcy,” on purpose, and quickly.

In case you want to know what my kids are doing on their “summer vacation,” please see the two attached photos. One is of Aharon, who received an emergency army reserves call-up at the beginning of the hostilities and has not been  home since. The photo is of a training  exercise in urban warfare that he did today. The other photo is Bentzi (17 years old) and Shkedia (19 years old).  They have moved to Ashkelon and are volunteering to help the citizens there as they undergo almost constant rocket fire. Notice the heart on their t-shirts.  The sponsoring organization is called “Lev Echad- One Heart.” The message is that all Israel is one heart of mutual concern,- even if it means self-endangerment. Donna and I are both worried and proud. At least this time, those who desire to harm Jews will not find us defenseless.

With hope for a brighter tomorrow-
Joel and Donna

Aharon

Aharon

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Shkedia and Bentzi in Ashkelon


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