Talya Woolf

Drop a note

Headline on Times of Israel: Gallant says ‘no clock’ on phases of war; Austin urges Israel to work for two states

I had a conversation with my little Michigander brother this evening right before my voice lesson; he called to check up on me (he’s really sweet). We talked about the war, what it’s like in the States, what it’s like here, and what we’re going through.

Suddenly, his voice broke and he realized he doesn’t talk about the war very much, and perhaps, maybe, he should talk about it more.

He told me about all the people who support Israel, how so many people contacted him, who reached out, who asked how he was, if he was okay. He wanted me to know that there are so many who are pro-Israel, regardless of political party, religion, country of origin. It was really, really nice to just sit in my car, hearing his voice, knowing that we’re not alone.

He also told me about people who were almost relieved when the war came up as a topic; they had told him that they didn’t know if it was appropriate to bring it up or ask about it, and it occurred to me that – perhaps – I had some people in my life like this as well.

So here’s my request and declaration to those who read this:

Reach out, if you haven’t already.
Send me a note, send me an email, send me a whatsapp with a heart, send me a message.

Say ‘hi.’
Say ‘I miss you’ or ‘I hope you’re okay today.’

Because as the war drags on, we wonder whether we are being forgotten. 11 weeks in and we wonder whether we’re alone (again) in the prolonged fight against evil. Whether people realize that it’s still a nightmare. That we still talk to people — thinking we’re fine — and get triggered by a phrase.

We’re still not okay.

Life has gone on in a weird way. We drive to work on the 4, eat lunch with our peers and chat about children, celebrate Chanukah (which has taken on new meaning), pick up our kids and take them to extracurricular activities.

Woolf kids celebrating Chanukah by decorating cookies (thanks to Naomi Bitterman). Photo credit: Talya Woolf

Life goes on, kinda like you do after a funeral. You resent it in a way, even as you know it has to happen. Only this time, we still worry about other members of our family dying. We worry about rockets, though they’re less often. We worry about pigu’im (terrorist attacks). We worry about our neighbors who are on radio silence in Gaza right now. We wonder how long the war will last, when we’ll move from the south to the north, if the Houthis will cause more trouble, if we need to be concerned about visiting family in Judea and Samaria, if we’ll get any of our other hostages back. Alive.

It’s exhausting.

But it’s really nice knowing we’re not alone. To hear the support. That my brother and other family are worried and thinking of us. That black hatters in Michigan are saying tehillim for us (even if they don’t agree with everything about the Jewish state). That my Catholic lawyer friend tells me, “You have no idea how many of us are pulling for you.”

And that’s the key. We need to hear it. We need you to say it in words, emojis, pictures, memes, gifs – however you need to express it. Please.

It. Makes. A. Difference.

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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