I’m going to try to put into words what many/most of us here are feeling.

On the very simple level, we feel for parents whose children are missing. And not just missing- stolen- by very, very bad people who hate them and everything they stand for. People who think nothing of murder and torture. People who believe that they are in the right and that these boys are prisoners of war. We feel for the parents who don’t know if their children are being beaten, fed, allowed to go to the bathroom or even if they live.

We feel for the children who are terrified, alone, completely unaware of what will happen to them, likely in a dark, scary place with men carrying loaded weapons screaming at them in a language they may or may not understand. They are either together or separated from one another. They know Shalit sat for 5 years before he was traded for 1000 terrorists and prisoners- two of whom are alleged to be the current kidnappers.

We scream in rage that our children can be treated like this, that much of the world says that we are occupiers and so are fair game. Many of us know people who know these boys and their parents. Many of us could easily be these parents. Many of us travel the same roads, see the same places… we know they are out there and we just want them back. Many more sons are out there tonight working to find them before it is too late. These types of operations… they are fraught with danger.

In the meantime, shots are being fired at roads we travel, rockets are flying into our cities and children are running into bunkers waiting for the explosions to fall. We are angry, we are scared, we can barely think of anything else. “Normal functioning’ is an impossibility for very long. On top of the human issue, vile people are comparing the boys to rats, Palestinians are passing out candies and celebrating the stealing of these young men.

Out of the woodwork, all across social media, horrible people are telling us we are next, that we will be soap, they cry “Death to Jews,” etc etc. On the other side, thousands upon thousands are coming together to pray for these boys. In all cities, at the kotel, across the world… these prayer gathering are incredible and highlights the power we harness together, and the stupidity of our wasted, endless arguing.

Watching the mothers speak, I am in awe. They speak of their sons, and their strength and I am ashamed. I am ashamed that they are giving me strength when it is I who should be giving them strength. This country feels hard. It feels strong and it feels together. Yes, there are those who dissent, but they are but a whisper against the roar of togetherness at these times…

I do not know how this will end. I am terrified to think of what is happening at this very moment. I fear the days and weeks to come. Please forgive us if we seem jumpy, testy, unable to focus, or start calling for severe retaliation until our boys are back safe and thank you for the support that shows you are with us.