Day 231 Of The War: Decisions And Choices At This Time

Setting the table for lunch at the Headquarters. (courtesy)
Setting the table for lunch at the Headquarters. (courtesy)

On Monday, when so many people went up to Jerusalem for a mass protest, I had a shift and worked  in the dining room at the headquarters of the hostages’ families. I was sorry to miss that important and huge demonstration, but it was a matter of priorities. The massacre of October 7th and the war that followed made it imperative to clarify to myself what was important and urgent in my mind and what was less so, here are some examples.

The day after the high holidays, I was supposed to buy tickets to visit my daughters abroad, first one and then the other. October 7th changed all the plans, and of course, I stayed in Israel and found ways to be useful.

The second decision happened on the day of the funeral of my fellow member and friend in Women Wage Peace, Vivian Silver. For weeks we kept hoping that Vivian was a hostage in Gaza; there were even some testimonies of people who thought they recognized her in the videos that Hamas took on that day. When we heard that she was murdered on October 7th, it was devastating, and broke our hearts. the day of the funeral, I had to work, as usual, at the vegan restaurant where I volunteered, packing and sending meals to vegan soldiers at the different fronts. Although I really wanted to attend the funeral to grieve and find some comfort being with likeminded people  who loved and admired Vivian, I felt that my presence at work was more important than my need for solace. I think that it was the right thing to do at that time.

Few months after the beginning of the war I had to make another decision. It was whether to attend the demonstrations to remove the government and to call for early elections, or to go to the rally for the immediate return of the hostages.Eventually I decided that without the removal of the government, there is little hope for the return of the hostages. So, I attended the demonstrations first at Habi,ma and then at Kaplan. To compensate for my absence at the rallies, Istarted volunteering at the headquarters of the hostages’ families, it was a good decision for me .

In addition to staying at the headquarters last Monday making breakfast and serving lunch to families and  fellow volunteers, there was yet another decision to make on Monday.

Thay night, there was an award ceremony at the School of Management at Tel Aviv University where my late husband was a professor. In the past, I was always there; it was important for me to show my appreciation to the department for honoring my husband and my respect to the exceptional student who received the scholarship. But somehow, on the day of a mass protest, it  felt disconnected to be there. One of the other widows, a friend, who like me  attends the ceremony every year, found the best words to describe her feelings. “On a day like today, I can’t go on with normal life doing things that are not essential. It is much more important to go out and demonstrate.” She was right, and I followed her example

About the Author
I hold a PhD in English Literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, specializing in writing about issues related to women, literature, culture, and society. Having lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994), I bring a diverse perspective to my work. As a widow, in March 2016, I initiated a support and growth-oriented Facebook group for widows named "Widows Move On." The group has now grown to over 2000 members, providing a valuable space for mutual support and understanding.
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