Taking a Breath is Not an Option

And so it begins. Once again we are dishearteningly drawn to the Internet, television and newspapers desperate for news about the attack on Har Dov, weeping over the deaths of two IDF soldiers; Major Yochai Kalangel, z”l and Sgt. Dor Nini, z”l, and praying for the recovery of the seven soldiers who were injured in the attack. Hamas or Hezbollah; it makes no difference to the grieving parents and team members who must bury their sons and brothers in arms, while hoping for the full recovery of the young men who were wounded in the ambush. The road ahead for those left behind will be difficult and painful and it will take a great deal of time and effort to begin to heal from this tragic loss of life.

After the war in Gaza ended with the loss of 66 courageous and heroic IDF soldiers of whom the great majority was just beginning their lives, and the 469 equally intrepid and heroic soldiers who were wounded during Operation Protective Edge, Jews in Israel and around the world felt that they might be able to take a breath if even for a brief moment. However, there is no time to take a breath when those who openly yearn for her destruction surround the Jewish State. Netanyahu said that, “Those who committed these acts will pay the full price for their actions.” We all recognize what this statement signifies – that Israel’s valiant young soldiers will engage, once again, in the fight against those who threaten their homeland and that they will do so with honour and a staunch commitment to the safety of the citizens of Israel. In the interim, we in the Diaspora will once again, watch anxiously and with heavy hearts while our young sons battle the eternal enemy, praying for their safety and for peace.



About the Author
Felicia Gopin is Executive Director of Peace of Mind Canada, an organization that is dedicated to facilitating emotional and psychological support for discharged IDF elite combat soldiers who have undergone difficult battle situations. Units of approximately 15-20 young men participate in the POM program in Canada for one week of intensive group therapy and bonding with the Jewish community. This unique 9- month long process includes orientation and concluding sessions in Israel, 3-month interval follow-ups and individualized therapy for those who require further interventions.