I can only say that my heartfelt sympathies and sorrow are with the Goldin family for their immeasurable loss.  I also want to express my awe, respect and admiration for Lieutenant Eitan and his parents.  His bravery, described in Melanie Lidman’s article “Heroism Under Fire” is undisputed.

Let me add, that my heart is filled with such great sadness for all of the wonderful, wonderful brave soldiers of ZAHAL, who gave their lives to defend our beautiful Israel. My sympathies and my sorrow are with their families.  ZICHRAM L’BRACHA.

I am praying and hoping for those who are recovering from their battle wounds, and may they completely and speedily recover and rejoin their families and the day to day of Israeli life.

In addition, I salute all of the wonderful women and men of the IDF, ZAHAL, be they reservists or regulars. Time and again you demonstrate your bravery, your morality and your unparalleled standards to the enitre world. To my fellow Israelis, you cannot imagine how much all of us support you and stand with you.

I have a huge investment in Israel.  My oldest, my son, is a career officer in the IDF, and I shall say no more.  He and his wife and three children, my grandchildren live this Israeli reality every day and every moment of every day.

My oldest daughter is working with children and adults who are challenged in one way or another.  She is an art therapist.  She, my son-in-law and their baby, my grandson, live this Israeli reality every day and every moment of every day.

My daughter and her husband, my other son-in-law, live in the direct line of rocket and missile fire, in Be’er Sheva, yet both she and her husband manage to go to work, study for an advanced degree or finish a thesis, work and coordinate all kinds of youth activities while the missiles rain down.  She and my son-in-law live this reality every day and every moment of every day.

My youngest daughter lives in Be’er Sheva as well.  She goes to work. She tells me not to worry while the missiles rain down.  Soon, she says, she will try living and working in the Arava, near her uncle.  She lives this reality every day and every moment of every day.

We, the Jewish community in Israel, and around the world, have seen so much sadness and felt so much fear.  We have seen yet again defamation, hatred, equivocation and censure.  We have also seen incredible courage and bravery and we shall read and hear stories not yet published of those very traits that allow us to truly be a light unto nations.

We, the Jewish community in Israel, and around the world, once again stand united, together in the face of an unfair media onslaught.  A media that dares to portray us as inhumane and cruel, a media that has no idea about the highest standards of the IDF‘s rules of engagement, a media completely taken in by the infernal propaganda machine of Hamas.

We, the Jewish people will stand yet once again, united to rebuild those homes damaged, to rebuild those lives shattered, and to honor those sacrifices made in order to safeguard our tiny homeland.  We stand united in these times of extreme difficulty, and it is my hope that we shall stand united as one people once the freshness of this latest war recedes into the chronicles of our collective history.