More from the home front

It’s been hard to write for the last two days. We have lost nine precious souls– men who willingly gave their lives so that the people of Israel can live. One, Major Ro’i Klein, 31, and the father of two young sons, saw a grenade thrown toward his men and realized it was too late to escape it, so he said, “Shma Yisrael…” and threw himself on the grenade to minimize the harm to his men.

But his is not the only story of bravery. There are all of the soldiers who gathered up their wounded comrades and carried them on stretchers two kilometers to the nearest place a helicopter could land safely and the helicopter pilots who flew into an area where they knew they could be shot down. There are those who went in under cover of night to rescue the bodies of their fallen comrade so that Hezbollah would not desecrate them or make use of them as bargaining chips.

And on the home front, the nation is amazingly resilient and brave. Many of the towns in the North are bare of inhabitants. Haifa could have less than half of its population at present. All of these people are being housed with family, friends, and strangers. Real estate agents have been contacting foreign owners of apartments in Israel and asking if they might be used as temporary shelter. Nursing homes are moving their patients together and making space for people from the North. And for those who have stayed in their homes, the banks have sent vans up so that people can get their banking done. One of the credit card companies is allowing people to miss their August payment with no interest. There are mobile doctors’ offices and post offices so that people don’t have to endanger themselves traveling in unsafe territory, and one of the largest supermarket chains is offering customers the opportunity to send foodstuffs to people in the North by just adding the cost to their bill. The love and caring of this people is exquisite.

Today I saw a couple who made aliya only a month ago from the US. I said to them, “I guess this was not such a wonderful time to come.” The husband responded, “Well, in the city we came from, last week there were seven murders. In another part of the US some kid shot people on a freeway because he was mad at his folks and somewhere else a kid who didn’t get to go to the prom murdered his family. In comparison, it’s pretty tame here.”

These are difficult times for us in Israel, but make no mistake; these are times that have enormous implications since our victory here will be the beginning of the defeat of terrorism.

May it be G-d’s will.

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  1. See The song of Deborah, Judges 5