Rebecca Liebermann Nissel

Chilling cold

A picture taken the night of Yom Ha Shoah

As I write this words I am trying to heat the inside of my heart,
my bones,
my soul.
But my fingers still tremble and in the back of my head a slight pain pulsates for the last half hour.
I layered two large cashmere shawls gently on my shoulders and never took off my gloves which have the tips cut off for using the phone.

You see, we just got back from a busy corner a couple of blocks away to hear the sirens which blare every year on the same day
At the same hour.
It was not the first time that we listened to that sound, but this year this special minute contained double
The effect than usual.

We arrived last night in Israel. The plane was packed with returning families, seminar girls and Yeshiva Bocherim.
We are welcomed with the pictures of the hostages posted on the lower part of the long passage to the passport control.
The first time we arrived after October 7th, the photographs lined the walls all the way till the end; not anymore.
Some of them freed and some died Al Kiddush Hashem

Our driver took us to our home in Yerushalayim, and we passed a small crowd gathered holding large Israeli flags to encourage the government to finish the war.

We relaxed on the balcony with a tea, warming our hands on a chilly spring evening.
“Do you know where we are?”
I asked Raphy.
Every time we arrive in the holy city I ask the same question.
It is really such a powerful answer when one can utter these words:
We are in our eternal holy city of Yerushalym.
Say it
Say it
My mind is drumming it into my head. It is what makes us strong
It is what keeps us waking up in the morning and holding us upright, just the thought:
Don’t forget
We have a country now
We have Israel
It’s not the same as the 1930’s!

So while we waited for the sirens to wail and a light drizzle mixed with my tears I thought of my father who stood at “Zählappell“ for hours in the freezing air in the middle of the night in Birkenau and my mind wandered to Shlomo ben Marcel, an elderly hostage who I said Nishmas for this morning who maybe is fighting for his life in the dark dungeons of our enemies.

And while I try so hard to express my feelings on my note app on my iPhone,
I constantly get interrupted by messages of Red Alert attacks in all areas some where
Sde …
And I scroll them away with my finger, but they keep on appearing.
And I beg Hashem to continue to help us, to make Nissim
We need them.
Right now
In this minute on
Yom HaShoa

Another announcement
Just popped on to the screen
Michal Ruzai 18 צייל
Of the Nachal Brigade from Rishon le Zion

Baruch Dayan Emet

The rain stopped

About the Author
Rebecca Liebermann Nissel was raised by survivors of the Holocaust and educated at the gymnasium of Vienna, Austria. She is a prolific author on a wide range of contemporary topics. Today one can read the intimate characterizations of my protagonists in Jewish journals around the world.
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