Arab

Infiltration? Are you Ready?

In my head it went like this, Infiltration? Are you ready? If so, let’s go, starting with…holy cr@p!! There are soldiers are on my block…lots of soldiers…

Remember the game Concentration?

Are you ready?

If so?

Lets Go…

Starting with…names of… and then there was coordinated clapping and snapping. I tend to make light of awkward or sad situations because it’s a nervous habit, coping mechanism, Sorrrry!

So, Friday was a day of hustle and bustle in our home…because my elderly in-laws were staying over we decided to host the Sabbath services in our home to facilitate an easier time for my father in law, as walking has become increasingly difficult.

Cleaning and cooking, washing the floor, setting the chairs and lights and A/C so that all would be comfortable. I lit the candles on time and then the prayer service started and somewhere in between, the phone rang. This is highly unusual since everyone knows we are Sabbath observers and the phone almost NEVER rings during this 24 hour period. No message… so we continued on. Until a friend went outside to get her baby’s stroller and she returned saying there were tons of soldiers outside.

Over the last 2 weeks my personal alert radar has been on since the war had escalated and local rioting started but for some reason – coping mechanism I guess, kicked in, and I asked my older daughters to invite them in, perhaps they needed to pray…not for once thinking – there was a problem. Then (like an idiot – or just totally not thinking smartly) I – we went outside and wished them a good Sabbath and asked what was going on. When they said not to worry, but go back inside, it will be safer, my inner alert system kicked into high gear. Then the phone rang a second time.

It was a call from our emergency team leader saying we must stay inside our homes, check our WhatsApp messages for any other security messages.

Panic. I made an announcement as the prayer service had just ended to all the men that kindly helped us out. One guy was like, ‘I’m outta’ here, I’m gonna’ be with my family” – others were a bit more hesitant…I mean what was out there? Everyone decided to take their chances and head home, even though I offered them to stay for dinner.

Being observant of the Sabbath – it was strange to turn on my phone and check for messages and to see my husband grab his gun. We locked the doors and windows and tried to remain as normal as possible. The soldiers were headed up the block, where the speaker of the Knesset lives. At least I am comforted by knowing there is always extra security close by. (“The Knesset is the unicameral national legislature of Israel. As the legislative branch of the Israeli government, the Knesset passes all laws, elects the President and Prime Minister, approves the cabinet, and supervises the work of the government”)

We began our meal, but my mind was elsewhere, thinking of all the crazy possibilities. Every set of headlights up the block had my eyes turning to the window. Every bleep from my phone had me quickly checking to see any updates. My daughter saw a soldier in our garden checking the perimeters to check for anything suspicious.

I was distracted the majority of the meal and we finally got a message that all was okay and that there was nothing to worry about.

The next day I was told that there was a hole found in one of the gates and naturally that created a domino of events  in our neck of the woods or hilltop to be more accurate.

I’ve been asked repeatedly would I move my family out of Israel to feel safer. Based on the news today, uh that’s a negative definite heck no! There is a crazy fever running rampant in all parts of the world from Miami to Chicago, from Lebanon to Iraq. From France to Nigeria. I’ll take my chances in good old Israel, the safest most secure and holiest places of all, believing in G-d and the IDF to protect me. I’m not a religious zealot and know that bad things happen to good people all the time, I will most certainly be staying put with extra precautions living in a gated community where we celebrate life and mourn death.

Saturday, I was invited to a celebratory dessert gathering for boys of friends that made it back from Gaza alive. There were light refreshments, baked goods and fruit that many neighbors contributed so that right after the morning service there was a pleasant crowd and a real sense of the word community was felt.

However today is a new day, and I as I sit here typing these words my Red Alert App is dinging. 14:04 “Rockets Attack : Sderot” The war is not over, and our enemies still attack us. My hope for today us that our soldier boys, and men will not be injured, and that there will be no more Jewish blood spilled.

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Our Land. Our Right.

If there is a message for today it would be this: Our enemies are close, whether you live in Florida, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Boston just in the US alone. Moving onto Europe, if you live in Paris, London, Brussels, Casablanca, or Frankfurt, you’ve seen it yourselves. Jews are the most targeted faith – that’s a fact. If there was one place I’d want to feel most protected? It’s the state of Israel. OUR state. Our land. Our right. The sooner you join us, the better we’ll all be.

 

Hitting Close to Home. Literally and Figuratively.

In the last few days things seem to be getting worse, but still okay. There is no cease-fire no matter what Hamas says – they are liars. Still planning to attack, still sending rockets, and now the locals seem to be getting restless. Being a ‘settler’ we are surrounded by Arab villages. While some find this scary, there was always a certain security that came with it, for me at least. See, I thought, well, no one is going to send a rocket so close to his cousin’s home, right? Until there was a rocket that landed in Bethlehem, then another in Hebron. When we ran to the bomb shelter, not 10 seconds after shutting the window, we felt it. We heard the boom and felt a tremor – okay maybe that was my heart pounding – but it sure felt like it hit close by. After when we checked the news and saw that it did – my reality took a right turn to hello-stupid-wakey-wakey. Hamas doesn’t care who they hit – I’ve listened to videos of women praising their suicide bomber sons. One Palestinian woman, whose baby was being treated in a hospital in Israel by Jewish doctors and nurses, fervently repeated that their people were not afraid of death. When the interviewer asked her then why bring her child to the hospital, why not just let him die? Her response was that she has had 2 other children die in her arms before, and that it is very painful and that she has no control over what happens, “it’s a natural thing, what can I do if he dies?…Allah gave us a gift – to forget…gave and Allah has taken away…don’t you believe in death?” The interviewer (and most people I know) answered, “No, we consider life valuable”. Her response? “Life is zero. Life is worthless”. Don’t believe me? Here is the interview: ( I do not know the person who posted this).

When your enemy has complete disregard for life, there is no brokering deals. There is no meeting of the minds. There is good vs evil.  And if the good doesn’t make every effort to destroy evil from the midst it becomes like a virus, spreading and there is no other way to make it stop.

The last few days there has been local rioting. In Bethlehem (12 minutes away), just 2 days ago, “violent incidents have been reported, including pipe bombs thrown at Jewish worshipers.” In Husan -(10 minutes away), “The rioters threw rocks, Molotov cocktails, and burning tires at security forces”. In another article I read, “Arabs near Gush Etzion (where I live), south of Jerusalem, set fire to a guard tower” and then there was this random act of violence not 5 minutes from my house:  Lastly, there was this just yesterday: Only a 10 minute drive away from my home, headed towards the town where my daughter is in horseback riding camp, border police stop a potential disaster: “Inside his car officers found pipe bombs, gas canisters, explosives and a detonator, according to a statement put out by the IDF after the incident. The officer who arrested the man said the back seats of the car had been removed and the entire area was full of gas canisters rigged with electric wires.”
 
Living in Israel is never easy, there are lots of sacrifices many of us make to live here. The rewards are great and mostly internal – not an external materialistic display of wealth, rather a bank of spiritual wealth. A belief that there is a unique holiness that surrounds us, protects us, lets the desert bloom and creative minds expand, explore and produce. I am not one to push my feelings and thoughts on others. However, if you think you are safe in a different country, like America, you are kidding yourselves. For every pro-Israel rally there is the enemy, right across the street, screaming in your face. So while Hamas militants in Gaza are building tunnels to terrorize ready to attack us in Israel, we know and are taking action to prevent the ongoing terror to our cities in the southern region. How will you protect yourselves? There is this evil spreading in your midst and in every city. The proof is out there, you’ve seen the articles, you may have witnessed it yourself. My Facebook feed is bombarded by videos and posts and articles and photos that back this up. This video is in Miami! ( I do not know the person who posted this)
I’m not saying you all should move to Israel, because each person needs to decide for themselves what works best. I just have a hard time people justifying living anywhere else. I feel most protected here, because I am aware that my enemy is close. I fear death just like the next person (well not my Arab neighbors it seems) and every month is a battle to ‘make it’ financially in the life we are accustomed to. 
We have been fortunate that no sirens have sounded in at least 2 weeks, but I know this creates a false sense of security. With smaller rioting matters at hand, the threat is still very much imminent.  We are all at risk, we must all take extra precautions but at the same time, we have to live our lives as regularly as possible. We continue to drive to work, to go to camp, to shop for food, to prepare for Shabbat. Most importantly we must continue to pray. We must continue to let our soldiers know how much we care.  Feel free to ask me how you can contribute – there are lots of ways, some not even asking for your money, just your time. 
I pray today is quieter than yesterday. I pray our boys come home soon. I pray that the next post I write is not about this.

My Story. From Over The Green Line.

I don’t even know where to begin but I feel now is the time to share.

There is so much going on in our region of the world now that it should come as no surprise to any of my followers. We are at war.

I thought about writing a piece as a mother, then as a Jew or an American or an Israeli or a settler or a blogger…not sure what angle I should be writing from made it all the more difficult to begin.

But here I sit, the stress I’ve been enduring the last few weeks has left my face looking like the battlefield. Lack of sleep, on constant alert in the event that there MAY be a siren, constantly checking and rechecking my news feed for more or any information that seems new or better than the last-minute of awfulness, the constant pinging of my RED ALERT app alerting me of more rockets flying – mostly towards the southern communities, all have made the bags under my eyes weigh a ton and pimples sprout for no other apparent reason.

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Max Steinberg, 24,a Los Angeles native who immigrated to Israel and enlisted in the Israel Defense Forces, was among the 13 soldiers killed in the Gaza Strip on Sunday. The slain IDF soldier who was laid to rest on Mt. Herzl in Jerusalem earlier today.

I will not be going to any funerals today, but that is not true for many of my friends. I can not begin to imagine,  and yet in my subconscious daze I sort of do imagine, what its like to have to say goodbye to your young soldier boy as he leaves you to go protect the rest of our country. My teenager is turning 15 in 1 week – that’ s like a blink of time before its his turn. And. I. Just. Can’t. Go. There. Because then I think of Max Steinberg, z”tl.  I think about his parents. And my heart breaks into a million more pieces.

I struggle with figuring out what to do, I want to pray but I can’t make it through the passages without breaking down. I want to help the efforts so I sent out a message on Facebook and within 2 hours and some amazing friends who networked faster than I could have even imagined, had raised close to $1000. I was literally shaking at the thought as I worked my way through the pharmacy picking out products I know they needed first-hand. Wipes, check – but how many packages? was 20 enough? 15 Bottles of sunscreen? And muscle relaxers and cream to help with jock itch – clearly not anything I am used to buying and then getting a strange look from the pharmacist when I told him 10 tubes of each. I explained my purchase but I was so worked up I’m not sure I was making any sense.  I felt bad taking all the boxes of energy bars off the shelf so I left one. Then I went to the next store and bought 60 bags of gummy candy and 20 more containers of gummy candy shaped in hearts to send a message that our hearts are with them. I bought more wipes and about 400 granola bars. And batteries, so many batteries!

I spend my day at work barely able to keep my mind on the tasks at hand and am distracted about 95% of the time, reading multiple articles and blogs, opinions vs facts and videos of idiots who call themselves political satirists. I follow some comments on Facebook posts that lead me to viewing sites from the opinions of our enemies and I am even more frightened by the amount of anger and violent hatred that is aimed at us, call us whatever you want. Jews. Israelis. Zionists. What have we done? Occupied a land as small as NJ? That was ours to begin with and that we cultivated with our own hands, blood, sweat and tears?  A land where we plant flowers and vegetables in our gardens not dig holes filled with cement and weaponry with the intent to creep out like ants waiting to grab the first morsel/life that walks by? Who does this?  When we dig below the earth it’s because scientists want to educate on a global level in the hopes that the  “results of this project will have vast implications in the fields of science and environment and will shed light on new natural resources”.

I am sad and angry. I am exhausted and weary that we will lose more sweet 20-year-old boys to this evil on the other side. And they are pure evil. Why there are so many who still support this entity of violence is beyond comprehension and then, then to read that other countries are willing to give millions, MILLIONS of dollars to aid them in rebuilding the homes of the ring leaders –  that we just sacrificed our young soldiers for – who hid weapons of mass destruction in their basements? In their schools? In their places of worship and hospitals? The last time they were given piles of tax dollar monies they spent it on cement to dig tunnels with the direct aim to do massive harm to innocent civilians or kidnap a soldier. Those are MY tax dollars being used to torment me. Outrageous! I can’t think of enough curse words to express my outrage at this expression of  sympathy. The world has gone mental if the general thought is that innocent women and children are being displaced. That does not mean I don’t feel for them because running for your life or losing a child is awful no matter what your religion is or what you believe. However, these are the women who raised terrorists and continue to praise their efforts. These children are receiving and education which will almost inevitably lead them to become terrorists. Televised programs encourage hatred and are what their children watch for fun, cultivating a life worth dying for at a very early age calling it martyrdom. It’s murder. It’s detestable. It should shock the world, and yet, as I continue to watch rally after rally in countries all over Europe, the UK, France and United States the world cries out in their defense, reminding us that we are “settlers occupying the land” and what this war is supposedly about. I live “over the green line” labeling me a settler.

Not one of the Arabs I employ (but feel free to call them Palestinians if you want) has ever been or felt mistreated in any way. I offer drinks and the use of my bathroom if the need should arise if they are working on my house or in my garden and there has never been one word in anger that passed between us. For goodness sake, they are helping me build my house on OUR land!!!

There are huge very clear red signs that state if I enter into their neighborhoods I risk my life.   

Why would I be risking my life? What’s on the other side of that sign? A pothole maybe that I can fall into like Alice in Wonderland and find myself deep in a tunnel and when I finally get to a stop am in the basement of some guy’s shwarma shop? Maybe. Who knows now? Not me, that’s for sure. How will I know that somewhere when I least expect it, there will be a sewer lid that lifts and out comes a terrorist? Yes, so now I’m paranoid, but what choice am I left with?!

tunnel roadThis is not our way. When we build tunnels, they end up looking like this: and was built in order to travel to Jerusalem and not through the Arab neighborhoods. Oh, and on the other side of this tunnel, only a few meters away is Bethlehem, and the Tomb of Rachel – where we all can pray – but with completely separate entrances. We are a fair nation with a moral conscience. We pulled our own people out of our own homes to give the enemy a chance. To show the world we are a just people. We gave and gave and now we must take back. The world needs to be a better place. We will lose innocent lives and mourn and then wipe off the dust and begin to build again. We have started to defend OUR right to live here and until the rest of the world wakes up we are going to have to fight hard to continue to live here. There is one thing we have going for us though, that no other surrounding nation has. The love of G-d. We have His blessing.

Deuteronomy 15:4

“However, there will be no poor among you, since the LORD will surely bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess”

Deuteronomy 7:13-14

“He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your herd and the young of your flock, in the land which He swore to your forefathers to give you. “You shall be blessed above all peoples”

Deuteronomy 28:7

“The LORD shall cause your enemies who rise up against you to be defeated before you; they will come out against you one way and will flee before you seven ways”

Here is my favorite line of the day though that I want to share with you. It has helped me time and again over the last 2 weeks and I firmly believe it.

Psalms 29:11

“The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace”

A People United


We are always on the verge, it seems. On the verge of war that is. We have been warned to obtain gas masks for our families, ensure that our bomb shelters are up to code, and that our sirens are functional. Our soldiers are training and we hear stories from our sons, and our friend’s sons of what its like in the field, on the border, at their posts, with their guns, or standing alert. We hear about children’s kindergarten’s in the north being bombed,random missiles being shot and the absurdity of the loss of a teenager’s life out and about with his father.

The war on us has reached a new level. It has once again entered our neighborhood, when 3 young boys leaving school are taken against their will. Kidnapped. The last kidnapping had the country shouting for 5 years to release our soldier-boy. A soldier, not teenagers leaving from school and this has to stop. The world needs to see that this type of activity is not because Palestinians are being mistreated, what a joke! We gave back convicted terrorists to save ONE LIFE, and in turn these same animals attack us again and again after receiving freedom.

In no other country would a murderer be let free. Yet we look like the bad guys. How is that even possible?

They are allowed in our malls, in the supermarkets, on the same busses and trains. We employ them to work constructing our homes, tend to our gardens, tailor our fabrics. We offer electricity and water and food supplies when needed. And they steal our children. They enter our homes when we are sleeping and bludgeon our babies to death. They drive tractors over innocent motorists killing our families. They walk into our schools with semiautomatic weapons and shoot our children randomly. They are wolves in sheep clothing, entering our cars waiting with hidden knives to attack when we offer them a hitch, or dress like us only to blow themselves up on a bus hoping to take as many Jews with them.

We are a defensive people. We were given the gift of the land of Israel and we respect it, cherish the history from our forefathers, are blessed with making it flourish and we use stones to build a community not to throw at passing cars. We teach our children to build healthy relationships and yet they have summer camps that instruct their children to destroy at all costs, innocent people. When we left our productive land, forced by our own government, physically pulled out of our homes by 50,000 of our own soldiers as an olive branch, what happened to the wonderful homes built with love, or the fields of produce that once flourished? Destroyed and now? Now nothing, absolute nothing.  Where has there ever been any kindness from the other side.

The world wants peace. They want us to give, and give until there is no more to give.

There is no rest for the weary, our boys have not yet returned home, our communities are offering food and kindnesses to the soldiers. Our 22 “settlements” all baked, and bought, cooked and served to show appreciation in the efforts of all they do. When asked to prepare cakes, rolls and Challot for the Sabbath to give to the boy’s high-school for all the students, in accordance with baking enough in order to make a special blessing, there were 159 women who signed up. Together we delivered 349 rolls, 207 Challot and 60 cakes to the school that houses close to 300 students. We are bound by a commandment, “all the people of Israel are responsible for one another”. We are brothers, we are one family. We are bound to protect and love each other as we love ourselves and during this awful time we offer what we can in action, deeds and prayer in the hopes that we flood the gates of heaven with our cries. We beg for mercy, we trust in G-d and together, a people united we continue to hope that the boys are returned unharmed.

Please continue to pray for Gilad, Naftali and Eyal.teens_jpg