Waiting to exhale

For the past seven or so weeks, ever since our three boys were kidnapped and murdered, my mind has been a constant whirlpool of mixed emotions. Trapped somewhere between anxiety and pain, pride and hope, my stomach has been in constant knots and my appetite sliding between non-existent and wanting to shove any sweet or salty snack in my mouth; anything to comfort my soul and quash the uneasy feelings that envelop me.

For the past two months, I have been holding my breath. I have been patiently waiting for our government to take action and rid the world of Hamas once and for all, so that no one can ever be hurt by them again. For the past two months, I have been praying that G-d gives our leaders the strength and the courage they need in order to make the right decisions. I have been pleading with G-d that our soldiers should all return home, safe and sound, emotionally and physically. I have been pleading with Him to keep our people safe, our children protected and our homes intact.

With every siren, I hold my breath, thinking: Please don’t let this missile land near anyone. Please don’t let it hit a house or a school. Please lead this missile to an open field, the ocean, an abandoned warehouse…. somewhere “safe.” And with each attack that was intercepted or landed in an open area, I thank G-d for yet another open miracle. Thank you, G-d, for showing us and our enemies that You are greater than any man-made missile and You alone are the One that decides where it will land. Not the Hamas.

Photo Credit: Ben Yagbes
Photo Credit: Ben Yagbes (Iron Dome Tel Aviv)

And yet, amid the miracles and moments of unity, greater than I have ever experienced before, over the past month, we have lost 67 beautiful souls. 67 worlds have been shattered. Mothers are mourning their children, babies will never know their fathers, brides are grieving instead of dancing. These men, these boys, are my heroes. I did not have the chance to tell them personally, but they are my heroes, nonetheless. They do not wear a mask or a cape, like Superman or Batman, yet their superpowers are far greater . Their uniforms are made of cloth and honor, and they wear them with pride and faith and fearlessness. Our brave soldiers fought courageously, selflessly, to give us the peace and security we all pray for every day.

Photo from Ynet
Photo from Ynet

And now where does this leave us? What is there left to do? Our entire country is in limbo. Is this “war” over yet? Will it ever really end? Is it naive of me to believe that one day we can all truly live in peace? Who wouldn’t want that, after all?

All the anxiety and uncertainty of the past couple months is pent up inside me just waiting to be released. I want to let it all go, so that I can breathe free once again.

I long for the day that our children can once again play in the park without their parents worrying where the nearest shelter is…

I yearn for the day that our incredible soldiers, (who are really just children themselves), can enjoy their chamshushim, spend time with their girlfriends and buddies, and enjoy lazy weekends at the beach, laughing and having fun, and not having to worry about getting a tzav 8...

I wait for the day that parents can sleep easy at night, knowing our homes are safe from murderous villains trying to carve their way through tunnels beneath our bedrooms. For them to be able to reassure their children that there are no monsters hiding under their beds and there is no good reason to be afraid of the dark…

I pray for the day that we can all go back to enjoying the silly mundane activities that we have so easily taken for granted in the past without the threat of war and terrorism…

I long. I yearn. I wait. I pray…

And until then, I hold my breath. Waiting to exhale.


About the Author
Meira is originally from Toronto, Canada and made aliya to Israel with her family at age 13. When she's not travelling or dreaming of her next vacation - her other loves include cooking, writing, catching up on her TV shows and of course, most important- her family and friends.