10th October 2023
It’s strange how one can look at a date and it elicits memories long forgotten. At 10:10 on the 10th of the 10th 2010 Zvi and I walked in to the President’s House to attend a ceremony to honour the bravery of the Ethiopian Community and their successful Aliya. We walked in the gates, through security and I strolled on the lawns admiring the sheer beauty and resilience of the people before me when suddenly I found myself sitting on the ground – a very elegant fall leaving my foot neatly trapped in a hole in the lawn! The long and short of it I had broken my ankle very painfully. Why would I talk about lawns and broken ankles? Because my ankle has healed but I remember the wonderful people who helped Zvi and I. What is happening in Israel right now – to Israel right now – is about people, about the personal tragedies which translate into national tragedies and so into the incredible outpourings of love from all of you. Your notes, calls and messages may seem banal to you but for us, they strengthen us as nothing else.
“What is a safe room”? Basically, when a house or apartment is built, a prefabricated, solid metal and concrete box, with specific openings for door and window, with its own electrical supply and air filters, is installed and the building built around it. The window has a heavy metal closure and the windows sealed completely. In the case of our estate, each safe room is exactly the same – most are standardized. One cannot change the configuration or open another door or window; it is sealed in emergency, but under normal circumstances it becomes a regular room with open windows. you can make it a bedroom or sitting room or anything. Ours is our study/office, with our computers, library of books and files, family photos and comfortable office chairs. It is currently stocked with water, soft drinks and snacks and probably our medicines. Every home built after the 70’s must have one – either individual or for the building but sadly much illegal housing in the Arab areas have not built safe rooms and are in direct danger
The situation in the north is fragile, Hezb-Allah is staying out of it but a few Islamic Jihad of Lebanon terrorists broke through the border and were immediately killed. Nonetheless, the people in the northern villages and towns, Jews and Arabs alike, have been asked to stay at home until the area has been cleared.
In truth we are still reeling, unable to absorb the bestiality of what happened on Shabbat, the number of dead is still rising, close to one thousand, the injured still arriving and the nightmare of the families of those hostages taken into hell in Khan Yunis is unthinkable.
The Israeli ability to come together, to step outside the politics of the last months, is phenomenal. Within an 8 hour period, 300 reservists showed up for duty, not waiting for the IDF to call them, from all over the country, men and women, some of whom lost loved ones and certainly lost close friends from their platoons, dug deep into their cupboards and found their uniforms, dusted them off and turned up at the appropriate centres. El Al has set up special flights to bring back anyone who is eligible for reserve duty and even the highest, retired officers can be seen back in uniform. We are a resilient people, as emotionally beaten down as we are right now, we know what has to be done and we do it, without hesitation.
Many of you have asked where to donate money to help. Keren Hayesod know where to send your money, Soroka and Barzalai Hospitals, both in the South, have almost exhausted their facilities having taken in the vast majority of the injured and of course any organisation which supports the IDF.
I wish I had good news for you, maybe tomorrow. We need your prayers, we need your support, we need your love