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.
Tuesday, October 30, 2012
Hurricane Sandy, the state of emergency, and southern Israel
Times of Israel..
29 October '12..
I’m tracking Hurricane Sandy, on the Internet, calling my sisters in New York. My husband and son are stuck in Texas, can’t make it back to New York for their flight to Israel.
I think of all those millions of people in the East of the US who face the stormy weather. And then I remember Sderot and the Israeli communities around the Gaza Strip and Beersheba and Ashkelon who are, even now, being attacked. In America you sleep in a shelter only when there’s a gale force hurricane. In Israel sleeping in a shelter has become a somewhat ordinary event. Almost every day lately missiles are fired into our southern areas: more than 80 were fired last week before the ceasefire — which apparently didn’t hold.
On Sunday, I spoke on the phone with a friend in Beersheba who told me that he had to go, there was a siren, he had to move to a shelter. A woman I know from a small community in the South participates in an art therapy program in Jerusalem run by our foundation, the Koby Mandell Foundation, named after my son who was murdered 12 years ago by Palestinian terrorists. She suffers from trauma as a result of her home being hit by a Katyusha rocket a few years ago. She didn’t suffer physical injuries but has suffered from PTSD since.
The recent barrage of rockets near her home has left her shaken.
Yet, where I live in the West Bank, the katyushas could be as far as the hurricane. Only, the hurricane is being talked about. The hurricane will pass and the people on the East Coast will clean up. But the missiles aimed at the southern cities of Israel — very few people are talking about them. And there’s no plan of stopping them.
Maybe it’s time for all of us, and especially the media, to take a good long look at the suffering in the southern border communities of Israel. True, thank God, the number of casualties is relatively low. It doesn’t look so bad, because we aren’t living there. But it’s time for our nation to respond as if it were an emergency. Because it is.
Sherri Mandell is co-director of the Koby Mandell Foundation which runs programs for bereaved families in Israel. Her book, "The Blessing of a Broken Heart," won a National Jewish Book Award in 2004. Updates throughout the day at http://calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com. If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.Twitter updates at LoveoftheLand as well as our Love of the Land page at Facebook. .
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!"