It’s been over a week that my son Sadok has been fighting with the rest of our soldiers in Gaza. I’ve been strong. I braced myself for this reality from the time I knew we might need to fight against this insane, ruthless regime devoid of morals, called Hamas.
I have clung tightly to my faith and inner desire to stay strong for Sadok, my kids, and my parents. I managed pretty well for what was in fact a few days, but felt much longer. I watched closely from the sidelines as our first soldier, Eitan Barak, fell, while holding my breath knowing the likelihood of more to follow.
I felt myself weaken as the news trickled in about each additional loss we suffered. At every announcement of a fallen soldier I braced myself, yet again, until the names were released on the news. I would look at the unfamiliar face in the picture of the fallen soldier and nevertheless experience an all too familiar pain of loss. When I heard that three Sanchanim had died I panicked because my nephew, who I am so close with, is in Sanchanim. When minutes later I saw it was not him, I found my breath again. The next moment I was very bothered. How can I breathe a sigh relief when the parents and loved ones of those who died were experiencing the devastating scenario I just escaped? I cried hard.These boys that were just like my nephew and my son, are now gone. Mothers, fathers, families and loved ones mourn the loss of a joy, a light, an image of G-d, that they can never hold, see, or hear from again for the duration of their days. I was disgusted at my initial feeling of relief, when at the same time someone else was experiencing the most gut wrenching pain. I cried. I cried for having that moment. I cried for their pain. I cried for trying so hard to keep my composure and losing it. I felt swallowed up by anger, pain and uncertainty. I sat locked in my bathroom, on the floor, trying to cry it all away.
I knew full well life goes on, whether we are ready for it or not. I didn’t have the luxury of wallowing in hurt and confusion when things needed to get done and children relied on me, so I said a prayer, got up and am now doing my best to keep going.
I spoke to my brother this morning who gave me perspective. He made me realize what I was actually experiencing. Each of us are part of one body called Am Yisrael. The part that is closest to the strike will incur the most intense pain, yet will still be profoundly effected by the loss or damage to any other area in the body. He told me not to feel guilty. If I did not feel pain when other members of Am Yisrael suffer that would be a problem. I do feel the pain with each loss, however, the fact that certain pain is more acute than others does not negate its significance.
I have learned and become more aware of how “our body” works. Hamas hit hard the heart and soul of our people who are inextricably connected. They tried to weaken us, but failed miserably. We have come together forming tighter and stronger bonds. I feel more love and more connected to our people than ever before.While I mourn our losses, I feel hope when I see how we care and support one another. I am blessed to be a member of this awesome people.