Talya Woolf

Dance in the rain

Headline on Times of Israel: IDF says 5 more soldiers were killed Monday in Gaza, bringing day’s toll to 9

Israel – Swords of Iron – Day 95
Ground operation toll – 185
Hostages missing – 136 (at least 23 declared dead)

I’m tired as usual. Maybe it’s that we stayed up the other night until midnight building a bunk bed; maybe it’s the war; maybe it’s both.

I had lunch with my colleagues the other day, and we were talking about the soldiers who have been released from Gaza and miluim (reserves). At least four husbands in our community have come home, and my husband is out (though he is still ‘in’ with other upcoming, less intense positions). Other soldiers are still in Gaza, and some are up north.

Apparently, it was not obvious to everyone that we are holding out in the north just long enough until we complete our mission in the south. I figured this from the start.

And today we heard about our big losses in Gaza yesterday.

In case we have forgotten, there are bad people there. People who have no problem sacrificing their children, their childhood, and their humanity to their ’cause.’ People who have no problem educating innocent youth and filling their heads and hearts with evil and hatred and thoughts of murder.

Kids’ puzzle. Photo credit: IDF

This is our enemy. One who intentionally destroys societies – theirs and ours. One who murders souls, regardless of nationality, color, age, religion. One who thrives and takes joy in blood and pain.

One third of all Israelis are suffering from PTSD from the war – Hamas is likely overjoyed at this fact. They live to destroy us, our spirit, our lives, our happiness. And yet, this year, Israel is the fourth happiest country in the world (jumping from 9th place last year, in 2022).

The article stated: “Perhaps the most surprising country in this top ten, Israel is faces many diplomatic issues and marks just one of two nations outside of Europe in the list.”

Surprising? Not to those of us who live within its borders.

In Israel, we are happy – not despite our hardships in Israel – but because of them. They are what make us value and appreciate what we have.

Our very existence is threatened regularly. We are surrounded by 22 Arab countries who would probably prefer us gone.

Map of 22 Arab countries with Israel in red. (via X, formerly Twitter)

But we refuse to live our life in the shadows, instead making the choice to thrive, flourish, turn the desert into a lush garden of life, flowers, and music.

No one will find us cowering in a corner. No one will find us sitting and waiting for the butcher. No one will tell us how to live or whether to live.

We will rise up. We will share our love of life. We will share our thoughts, knowledge, experience, and joy.

We will dance again.

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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