Day 4 of the War: Taking Part in the War Effort

People in deep mourning, grappling with loss, often find themselves in a state of apathy and listlessness, making it nearly impossible to physically pick themselves up and move forward. The events of October 7th, 2023, resulted in an immense loss, and our entire country is immersed in deep mourning. Our hearts ache for those who lost loved ones, and for the families that perished, murdered by Hamas.

As one of the few fortunate ones whose family was spared, I forced myself to get up, take a break from the ongoing news, and spend some time outdoors. On horrific days like these, my thoughts turn to my uncle, who survived the holocaust and the concentration camps. He once told me that while pushing carts laden with dead bodies, he would look up at the sky and remember that his brother (my father, who was in Palestine) was gazing at the same sky. It gave him hope. An Irish friend from Belfast, to whom I told this story, shared that during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, he used to gaze at the moon for the same reason.

Apart from being outside for a short period and being glued to the news the rest of the time, I decided today to look for a more meaningful and useful activity. So I joined the civilian operation room devoted to finding information on missing people. This initiative is based in a vast hangar where various activities are underway. In other parts of the hangar volunteers were collecting, sorting and packing all kinds of goods: food, soldiers’ items, clothing, baby supplies, and more. Contributions and people kept pouring in, contributing to this collective effort.

The speed at which this necessary logistic center was established is truly remarkable. I noticed that while these spaces buzzed with activity and an almost cheerful atmosphere as volunteers prepared for the future, the hall dedicated to missing people was quiet and solemn. Following a morning briefing, volunteers tirelessly searched through data on their computers. We remained there for many hours without a break. In ordinary circumstances, our efforts would have been coordinated  perhaps by members of the civil service. But unfortunately, professional individuals in various government and other public offices have been replaced by political appointees who are unable and unwilling to lead. So now, amidst the backdrop of war, the citizens of Israel find themselves facing an empty well.

Still it is very reassuring to see that in the absence of a trustworthy political leadership, the leaders of the protest against the Judicial overhaul have stepped in and assumed responsibility. Personally, I trust them and their capabilities and integrity much more

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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