KJ Hannah Greenberg

Our boys

During a recent, fairly sleepless night, I opened my social media. Being the type of safta who eschews a smartphone, it boggles me that I still use Facebook. Sure, I only signed up because one of my book publishers, years ago, insisted that I start using interactive technology to promote my titles. However, even after the two books that I launched through that commissioner went out of print, I chose to stay linked.

These days I rarely refer to my publications on that platform. Mostly, I use that network to track down local tradesmen, to search for additional ways to support displaced persons, terror victims, and soldiers, and to discover goings-on in Jerusalem.

Be that as it may, on that night, I found myself scrolling through reels depicting our lionhearts returning home from Gaza. Whether our nonpareils were on temporary leave or were momentarily cycled out of service, watching our champions greet their loved ones made me cry.

Granted, one of sons, my son-in-law, and sons of several dear friends all are reservists, so I’m biased. Granted, I’m a Jewish mother, so I’m partial. Granted, I love Am Yisrael and these young men  belong to our tribe, so I’m inclined to be emotional about them. Even so, it’s them who sustain me, not vice versa; I admire their middot.

Whereas our enemy uses children as shields and subjugates women, our defenders act in an opposite fashion. In every brief video that I watched, our servicemen cradled their infants, physically and emotionally boosted their children (from toddlers through high schoolers), enfolded their mothers and fathers, hugged their brothers and sisters, and treasured their wives.

Even though our combatants arrived home carrying heavy packs and guns, and even though they were dirty, hungry, thirsty, and tired, none hesitated to hold their family members in their arms. Our people cherish each other. We act on the idea that we’re fortunate to have loved ones.

Those daunting youths’ displays of humanity and their compassion for their dear ones had a palpable effect on me. I stayed up until the small hours of the morning to witness many of their acts of achdut. Am Yisrael has a future as long as we attach importance to our generations. Our dauntless fighters remind us of this priority.

Meanwhile, our leaders are, has v’shalom, exposing us and our troopers to dire losses by allowing the enemy to resettle and by removing more and more of our young men from active service. It’s unsurprising that former regular servicemen organized and protested that they ought to be allowed to return to the battlefront and that we ought not to “make peace” until our objectives are accomplished (Barksy). Meaning, they appreciate that we’re in an existential war. Hence, they’re urging the government NOT to pander to our “allies” or foes.

This behavior, too, is entirely unselfish as the death rate of our heroes still climbs and as thousands of others of our men-at-arms have been permanently wounded. Despite these realities, just as Shifra and Puah willingly risked harm to ensure that Jewish babies would not be destroyed during Moshe Rabbeinu’s time, our gallants willingly sacrifice themselves so that their descendants may carry on our shared legacy.

So, if I have another sleepless night, it’s likely that I’ll return to YouTube reels that portray how tenderly our stouthearted, highly trained menfolk hold their newborns, how warmly our fearless, holy militants greet their school-aged children and teens, how sweetly our spirited bravehearts embrace their parents and siblings, and how incredibly our intrepid, upright boys love and honor their spouses, i.e., honor those women who have had to be equally courageous in our soldiers’ absence from their homes.

Only Hashem knows how this conflict will resolve. Yaacov was silenced when he tried to tell his sons about the Messianic Age. Prophets, too, were quieted when they were asked about the era of Moshiach.

What we do know is that Hashem loves Am Yisrael. We know, further, that our noble warriors, love Hashem and take care of the rest of us.


Barsky, Anna. “Bereaved families and reservists protest in front of Gallant’s house” [sic]. The Jerusalem Post. 12 Jan. 2024. Accessed 17 Jan. 2024.

About the Author
KJ Hannah Greenberg has been playing with words for an awfully long time. Initially a rhetoric professor and a National Endowment for the Humanities Scholar, she shed her academic laurels to romp around with a prickle of imaginary hedgehogs. Thereafter, her writing has been nominated once for The Best of the Net in poetry, three times for the Pushcart Prize in Literature for poetry, once for the Pushcart Prize in Literature for fiction, once for the Million Writers Award for fiction, and once for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. To boot, Hannah’s had more than forty books published and has served as an editor for several literary journals.
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