Talya Woolf

The Fires of Hell

October 15, 2023

Headline on Times of Israel: Netanyahu invites Biden on solidarity visit; Herzog reveals Hamas guide to kidnap people

We’re a little over one week into the war. We had a beautiful and quiet Shabbat (thank Gd) where we took the kids to the park in gorgeous Autumn weather. We had delicious food that was cooked perfectly and, together as a family, expressed our gratitude for the past week.

I’m tired.

I guess I have insomnia, which is tough when you have a sleeping disorder to begin with. I don’t want to sleep. I suppose I’m tired, but I get to the alleged end of the day and I have no desire to climb into my bed and fall asleep.

When I finally do force myself to take my medication (anti-depressant, sleeping pill, vitamin, probiotic) and fall asleep, I’m exhausted in the morning. I could sleep until 11:00 AM … and have. Sleep is a chore – not refreshing in the least.

But I have things to do. I have four small children and have taken two new projects upon myself in order to stay busy, to feel like I’m doing something for the State of Israel, to give back to the country who has helped me blossom.

And it has. People, Israelis and others, have constantly asked me how I like it here in Israel. My answer is pretty solid: I love it. It’s great for my kids, and it’s been even better for me. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone, made me a better person, challenged me in ways that the cushy United States never could or did.

I have met great people of all nationalities, looked past disagreements to find commonalities, and refueled my love of Israel and the Jewish people, as varied as we are.

These days are more than a challenge, to say the least. I’m trying to protect my children from danger, excessive knowledge, pictures/videos that no human should witness, and loss of innocence.

I’m really tired.

The kids are all home. There’s an obscene amount of dishes to do and laundry to wash. Three Zoom classes at the same time. Antsy children 9-10 hours out of the day who eat all. the. time.

Am Yisrael Chai, in chalk, by Talya Woolf and kids

But we go through buckets of sidewalk chalk and each kid is improving at wheeled skills (balance bike, roller skates, 2-wheeled scooters). Pretty soon the 5-year-old will know how to read.

Good thing she wasn’t kidnapped to Gaza by murderous Nazi barbarians with a lust for Jewish blood.

I’m so very tired.

And every time my children cry, I think of the kids stolen away in broad daylight to Gaza. What they’re “living” through. How crying might irritate or anger their captors. What they do to them.

But I guess I will grow from this as well. I guess we all will.
Because “the strongest steel is forged by the fires of hell.”

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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