For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Health professionals weigh in on the state of Sderot civilians post-Operation Cast Lead
Although news reports have frequently described the situation in Sderot as back to normal-with real estate having gone up 20 to 30 percent, 1,400 new homes approved for construction, and families returning to the city-behind the headlines the impact of previous rocket attacks are still hammering at the population.
Hila Barzilai, the director of the Sderot Resilience Center (Merkaz Hosen) recently told Sderot Media Center that in the past six months following Operation Cast Lead, hundreds of Sderot children have turned to the resilience center for therapy treatment.
“These kids come to us with their parents to seek therapy for the trauma built up from years of rocket attacks,” says Barzilai. "These problems did not just begin post-Operation Cast Lead. We are talking about eight years of constant rocket attacks whose psychological effects are now emerging during this period of calm."
Over 364 new patients arrived to the resilience center six months after Operation Cast Lead, according to Barzilai. "We do everything possible to limit the long-lasting affects of these rocket attacks but it is a long and drawn-out process.”
The average recovery period for a child can take up to eight months or more, said Barzilai. One of the challenges of trauma patients face in the recovery process are the sporadic rocket attacks that still continue to hit Sderot and the western Negev region.
Barzilai notes in frustration that "it takes one rocket attack to destroy any progress in the patient's therapy. The siren alert will trigger the flashbacks of terror and fear in the child or adult, which means that the therapy process has to begin anew."
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"