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.
This was supposed to be the post about Shmulik's wedding - yes, it was a few days ago. I didn't write about it in advance, having heard all these horror stories of criminals who troll the Internet to find out which houses will be empty. I was going to post pictures of the amazing evening, of the beautiful couple and more. Soon, I'll do that...but first this.
Passover is coming to Israel in just over a week. It's a major holiday with a huge amount of preparation. Israeli stores start stocking the special kosher for Passover foods two weeks before the holiday begins. I went shopping with Elie this morning to buy the first wave of canned and dry goods. Elie came over to the shopping carts and showed me something he wanted to buy.
"It's a window alarm," he said, "for Aliza's room. She'll feel safer this way."
It's been weeks since the terrorist attack and still Aliza, perhaps like many Israeli children, continues to cope with the fear that terrorists will come into her house and hurt her. She has no faith that her parents will protect her. After all, Tamar Fogel's parents couldn't protect her baby sister and two younger brothers, so she is afraid.
We blocked off her window, shutting the shutters against the view in the backyard because she was afraid. I gave her a small light to sleep with - and still she was afraid. We tried talking to her, reasoning with her, nothing.
Since Shmulik just got married - the post I keep meaning to make - we've had a shuffle of rooms. Elie moved to Shmulik's old room; Aliza moved upstairs and is now happily sleeping in Elie's room. She is less frightened, but insists on locking the door every night. We have secretly put a key to her door just outside in case we need to get inside quickly but she doesn't feel secure any other way.
She sleeps with a night light - something she has never done before, and now she has a window alarm. I am worried about this, but everyone seems to think she will get over it soon and for now, indulging her fear is better than forcing it away before she is ready.
I've dealt with my own fears and worries. They are not nearly as upsetting as those of a child. Slowly, somehow, we will deal with this but there is a slow burning anger in side of me that a child has to grow up with this kind of fear.
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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!"