A tiny light in the muck

November 5, 2023

Today’s headline on Times of Israel: 1 hurt in anti-tank missile attack from Lebanon on car, as northern skirmishes worsen

My husband signed up last week for Pikud HaOref (Home Front Command). Within two days, he had been assigned and picked up his new uniform and an M-16. Today, he went to an all-day training which will continue tonight with Krav Maga at our local matnas.

Volunteers (former military) have to sign up for at least a month of service, and Pikud HaOref will place you where necessary for active guard duty. My husband of 11 years will be guarding the City of Netanya four times a week and be on-call another twice a week.

When he signed up, he had to complete all kinds of paperwork, one of which was the emergency contact (i.e. who to contact if something happened to him – me) and there is still a possibility of him being drafted to the south (where he has experience from when he served).

How am I feeling about all this?

Pride, fear, anxiety, ferocity, but most of all, anger.

This week, I’ll be signing up for a MADA course (Magen David Adom – the Israeli version of the Red Cross). 44 hours to completion, I’ll learn all types of important medical things, and then, one year after I sign up to volunteer, I’ll apply for my gun license.

It is literally the quickest way for me to get my license until and unless they change the laws. It’s also a way for me to learn really important and helpful skills, for my family and my community.

I’m also signing up for a weekly krav maga course of my own – something which is well overdue.

How am I feeling about all this?

I don’t know anymore.

As of a few days ago, if I remember correctly, it was announced that we (our troops) have killed one quarter of the 30,000 Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Around the world, there are pro-Hamas rallies: Houston, Washington D.C., Turkey, and more – all of which are filled with potential terrorists. Millions.

My husband and I keep checking in with different friends to see how they are doing (read: are they alive), and last night, I listened to the radio on the hour to hear updates. Three more soldiers dead defending our country. The radio station names them each individually once the families have been informed. Because we each know someone who knows them, served with them, volunteered with them.

Yarzheit candle by @valley2city

How am I feeling about all this?

I really try not to think about it.

All I know is that, tonight, the whole country lit candles – candles to represent a light to extinguish the darkness of evil. It’s something Israel likes to do, something we are and always will be.

Even our art reflects our attitude of belief in the good. A new installation in Jerusalem called “Lights of Hope” features a beam of light for every hostage taken by Hamas.


It’s how we raise our children. Not with death, slogans of hate, and bragging rights to cooking babies, but rather love and tolerance, joy and understanding. Hugs and dance and freedom. Creativity and ideas of making the world a better place.

A light in the darkness.

Right now, the depth of murkiness is almost incomprehensible.

But we live in hope that the light will continue to grow.
May the darkness be extinguished.
Am Yisrael Chai.

About the Author
Talya Woolf is an eight-year Olah with four spirited children and a fantastic husband. She is a writer, American-licensed attorney, handgun instructor, amateur photographer, and artist. She is politically confusing, Modern Orthodox (though she doesn't dress the part), and ardent Zionist (ZFB). She enjoys spending time with family, friends, running, photography, and reading about highly contagious diseases and WWII.
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