The kids from Otef Aza (by the Gaza border) were visiting this past Shabbat for a birthday celebration. How wonderful to be together for smachot and to hang out with the children and grandchildren.
Then on Shabbat, while they were in Jerusalem, the horrible news came of more rocket attacks and people running for bomb shelters and “safe rooms” all over. Oy! Here we go again…. No way could the children go back home Saturday night. How do they, once again, explain the present situation to their children: wanting their children to be and feel safe – while the parents are feeling tremendous tension. How do the adults occupy the grandchildren, knowing that they will not be able to return home? What are the adults supposed to we say and do? In the meantime, the baby isnt’ feeling well; we need to run to get medication. We’re running out of diapers… another trip to get more… etc.
Sunday, schools were canceled. Monday, the schools in Otef Aza were not yet opened. Working parents. The adult children are talking and texting non-stop on their phones regarding work and trying to maintain their ongoing lives.
Finally, later Monday there “seems” to be a ceasefire (for now). We drive back down to their kibbutz in Otef Aza. Back to their fearful reality.
The air down there smells of smoke and fears are felt all over. The kibbutz looked very deserted. Families had run wherever they could for safety with their children. By evening time I see these young families, with worried looks, dragging their suitcases, holding on to their children returning to their homes. …Until the next time…. when .. when… when?