The ravaging impact of the attack a week ago in Israel’s south has hit me, and every other Israeli, hard. Virtually every Israeli knows someone who was involved, in some way, by the attack, or who have family members being called up to serve in the planned engagement with Hamas. My daughter’s ex (my grandson’s father, who I know well, him having lived one floor above me for a few years) is a very shell-shocked survivor of the carnage on Saturday a week ago (he was at the music festival). He is simply glad that by a miracle he survived. (He was shot at; the gun jammed.) My step daughter’s ex (who I also know very well), is part of the angelic “zaka” crew who went into the burned slaughterhouse the south had become, to collect body parts and provide burials for the victims. I have heard from family some of his horrified descriptions of the sadistic scenes that he witnessed there. I will spare you the details; I want you to be able to sleep tonight.
It immediately was obvious that Israel’s
response would be large, and would probably take an extended period of time.
That made it pretty obvious that I better coral my son to quickly get the door
of my safe room into place* (it had been removed, unwisely). Suddenly, my day became largely focused on
surviving real and feared** threats.
-Is it safe
to take a walk around the perimeter of the town?
-Is going to
Tel Aviv to take photos a good idea, or a slight (but unneeded) risk?
- What are
the chances of my being killed (or worse) by an infiltration of terrorists?
- etc etc
It was hard not to be obsessed about it……
However, my attitude shifted a bit early in
the week when I received a notice of the death of a good friend’s husband. For a moment, I assumed that he had been a
victim of fighting somewhere, and then I realized that he was too old to be in
the army, and since they do not live in the south, had probably “only” died of
THEN it hit me: My chances of dying in the
next month of rocket fire is probably less than the chances of me dying from a
heart attack or stroke.***
I should be working on my sleep and exercise
the same way I worked to get my son over here to fix the safe room.
I should be tracking my food and making healthy
choices if I really want to stay alive.
I should be making a “safe room” of healthy
living to protect myself, building it not with bricks, but with healthy
**This whole blog is really based on my being afraid of death.
In reality, I have realized any fear of death is massively overshadowed by fear
of sadistic terrors….. But I decided
that if the comparison mentioned above is helpful to anyone- which includes me-
it was worth writing.
*** If the West Bank walls are breached, however, those
statistics may be altered considerably. That is also part of my “feared” threats. In my mind I know that G-d has His own plans,
and that I need to trust him. But ingraining that trust in my heart and
feelings is vastly harder than to understand it intellectually.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
A final note. I believe that there is a very good way to help
deal with the stress of really difficult situations. One of my “favorite” holocaust memoirs (can a
book on the holocaust be “liked”?) is a book called To Vanquish the Dragon
by Pearl Beinish. This book follows a group of “Beis Yaacov” (a religious orthodox
Jewish girls school) students, as they experienced the holocaust. What is
interesting is not only how some of them survived physically, but more than
that- how they survived emotionally. The answer is that each of these young
women was centered on helping her friends, rather than on her own survival.
And indeed, those here in my town are quickly realizing that the best treatment for a numbing inactivity of fear is the act of getting busy, and helping others. The amount of support for soldiers and people displaced from southern Israel is massive.
LET US ALL TRY AND MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER KINDER PLACE THIS WEEK....
And for anyone who wants to read my views on Israel VS Hamas. please read my post from a few hours ago/