Not soldiers heading to war, just children heading home from school

When I was 14 Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser, and Eldad Regev, were taken into captivity. As a country and as a people we prayed, hoped and rallied for the safe return of our three brave soldiers.

Seeing these three men’s pictures on the news pained and upset all of the Jewish Nation, myself included. But I was a child, and I was naïve, and even through my tears I rationalized their abductions. A part of me could make sense of all this madness because hey, they were soldiers.

‘Soldiers in war get taken captive’ I would tell myself, and 9th grade me would be lulled into a false sense of solace by repeating this mantra.

I know it seems childlike but that was the only way I could make sense of their abductions.naftali frenke

Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel have been kidnapped. Upon hearing the news I couldn’t believe it ‘how could this be?’ I thought to myself. These aren’t men in uniform fighting on the battlefield; these are children we are talking about.

What possible rationalization can I have to ease the aching that weighs so heavily on me?

After a few sleepless nights I have come to the conclusion that there is none, and that my previous naivety can no longer be used to protect me.

But I am not alone in my hurt, all of Israel, all of the Jewish people weep and pray alongside the families of these abducted children. There is a sense of solidarity that cannot even be described in words. Walking in the streets you can just see how deeply affected each and every citizen truly is. You just know that’s what the person getting coffee behind you is also thinking about. And you just know your classmate who is forcefully hitting his mouse also cant stop refreshing the news.

I no longer have a mantra I have no means of justification. My world has been shaken.Contrary to what I have convinced myself to believe, the battle does not stay on the battlefield. There is a war going on, just outside our doorsteps.

The enemy doesn’t care if you’re a solider, a grandma, a lawyer, or if you are three young boys just trying to get home after a long day of school.

The tiny bit of solace that I can take out of this is that in my pain I am not alone. The state of Israel and the Jewish people stand as a united front, and as stated recently by Rachel Frenkel, mother of captive Naftali , “… Am Yisrael is moving heaven and earth to bring you home”

About the Author
Tali Rutta, originally from Scranton, Pennsylvania, now lives in Givat Shmuel, Israel. Currently she is studying for her BA in political science and Jewish history in Bar Ilan University.
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