Talya Woolf

Noodles with a side of tears

Today’s headline: Israelis abroad urged to take care as Hamas calls on supporters to hold ‘day of rage’

I’m sitting with my husband watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail right now (for probably the fortieth time) because we are in dire need of comic relief.

Last night, at 9:00 pm, I was outside on my mirpeset, singing Hatikvah with the people of Israel. My upstairs neighbor played loud music and we all turned on our phones’ flashlight and waved them around. I could see children bouncing away to the rhythm of the music and, suddenly, I heard the sound of the air force flying southbound overhead. As my husband likes to do, I saluted them and said, Godspeed.

Today, however, was tough.

I haven’t been sleeping well; I will sleep through the night, but wake up completely unrefreshed. I end up sleeping in late in a sad attempt at recovering energy. This morning, I was ‘woken’ by a loud BOOM. Immediately checking my whatsapp messages, I discovered it was Iron Dome shooting down a missile over Even Yehuda, a neighboring city.

There was no going back to sleep after that. And then the kids started bouncing off the walls.

We were stressed. A good friend of my husband is serving in the north and he was just called to the south. Our former babysitter is also serving, and yesterday evening, we found out that a friend of a good family friend was stolen and taken to Gaza.

At some point today, while we kept trying to get work done, the kids were fighting and screaming. The 3yo has been particularly ‘extra’ lately, and it occurred to me that she (and probably the others) have been very empathic, absorbing all the energy of distress, concern, and anger. We tried putting them to work, cleaning up around the house, which was only partially successful.

We kept snapping at them and eventually, they ended up in tears over their noodles. Great parenting moment.

The Galilee, by dozemode (Pixabay) – hoping the north returns to quiet

I decided we all needed a breather… and a talk.

So I sat with them and gently explained why Abba and I were so stressed and upset. I explained that there is a war in the south, which is not too far from us (though we are safe). We have friends fighting in the war and there have been people hurt and killed by the bad guys. And it hurts us badly, though it doesn’t give us a reason to yell at them.

It seemed to work. We all calmed down enough to eat dinner.

Bedtime was later than usual tonight. But, as usual, I sat in the dark with them, playing soft music until they fell asleep. My husband came in, rubbed their backs, and wished them good night.

And tomorrow is Shabbat – we will cook and clean like usual. Try to celebrate family, play games, and maintain our tradition – to list three things that we are grateful for this past week.

Because we must keep living…  or they have won.

My three things:
1. We had 200% turn-out for soldiers with the call-up, and our soldiers are the most amazing warriors.
2. They found 30 people alive.
3. We have such amazing support around the world, and that there are more people than I thought who stand against hate and terror. I personally have had more than one hundred people check in on me daily – it’s astounding and helps – a LOT.

I am grateful for each and every one of you.

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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