Just a thought or two

November 14, 2023

Today’s headline on Times of Israel: WATCH: Pro-Israel in Washington kicks off with 200,000 estimated in attendance

As there is very little cohesiveness today, I have shared some random thoughts:

It has been raining this week. Finally. Winter has taken its time in getting here – perhaps it’s God’s way of giving our soldiers an easier time in Gaza; they have to deal with the maze of the tunnels, the rubble, and now, if the seasonal rains hit hard, the mud.

Forecast by

Israelis seem to be getting more observant. Traditional (masorti) are putting on tefillin daily, I have heard that some secular women are cutting up their more revealing clothing, and I personally know people who are now doing Shabbat dinners or following more of the Torah.

I woke up this morning still sick – my chest burning when I cough (don’t worry, it’s just a regular, non-Corona virus), but I felt a significant weight lift from my chest when I saw that a Golani Brigade had taken over the Hamas Parliament building. I almost smiled.

In accordance with Israel’s 27a law. IDF’s Golani Brigade inside Gaza’s parliament building in Gaza City.

My husband also finally heard from a friend of his serving in the south (“he’s abroad,” his wife corrected me). When we asked him how it was down there, he responded, “Gaza is hell… Fighting Hamas isn’t easy. They play dirty and they are very good at hiding.” As a note, his wife is also pretty awesome, being that she is holding down the fort, working, and taking care of all their kids. In our community, we are doing what we can to help out her (and the other chayal’s families).

Yesterday morning, I went shopping for necessaries right after dropping off the kids. I bought milk, yogurt, bread, granola, coffee, cereal – the usual. I realized, afterwards, that this was the first time that I went out for groceries since the war started. It felt weird, and took a lot of mental energy.

I haven’t personally lost anyone in the war or known anyone kidnapped/taken hostage, but this has been one of the worst months of my life.

They just found out that one of the people they thought was kidnapped to Gaza is actually one of the victims. How many more? They have identified ‘only’ 800 some bodies.

Tons of my friends are at the Washington D.C. to participate in the pro-Israel rally there today. This level of support is quite reassuring to see this from here in Israel.

March on Washington D.C. (photo credit to cousin Noa Paris)

My husband and I started learning Arabic this month. It’s hard, but worth the moments when you recognize one letter on a street sign and a word on a pop bottle.

Two 14-year olds were stopped almost two weeks ago trying to carry out an stabbing attack at the Tel Aviv Savidor train station. And this week, they are discussing an exchange to release the hostages being illegally held in Gaza. A release of up to 70 women and children… “in return for the release of 200 Palestinian children and 75 women detained by the enemy,” according to Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, al-Qassam Brigades.

For those in the back, these ‘children’ are terrorists (the kind that would be tried as an adult if they were in the United States). These women are terrorists. They are jailed because they committed, were arrested, and convicted of crimes. On the other side, the hostages are being ILLEGALLY held by Hamas in Gaza, in violation of international law, and Hamas won’t even allow the ICRC to visit or check on them.

It’s a long road ahead of us. Some think Chanukah, some think summertime. I’m not really sure which way it’s going, but I know several million of us are going to need a higher dose of antidepressants and anxiety meds, and definitely some therapy. The government help lines are already advertising it on the radio.

I am pretty sure I am one of them.

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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