Hello from Jerusalem

Received by email:
Mendy and I are in Israel in our apartment for a few weeks. It’s almost normal here, boruch HaSh-m, and daily life goes on as usual. I’ve been to a wedding, sheva brachos, and have seen many outdoor weddings from time to time since Tisha B’Av.

One of the things I an enjoying is the warm feeling of unity right now. There is a religious radio station here whose news anchor reads off the names of the deceased soldiers with such pain and grief, as if it were his own family. Each name is followed by “HaSh-m yinkom damam.” When he reads the locations which have been hit by missiles,and nobody was hurt, he adds “B’chasdei HaSh-m there were no casualties.” (This is all in Hebrew). Then they read a few chapters of Tehillim followed by a prayer for the safety of the soldiers.

A personal note – Mendy’s sister, from the Golan, has two sons and a son-in-law in Lebanon who are reserve paratroopers.In civilian life, they are engineers. Her son-in-law made a bris this past Shabbos for his son, and then left for Lebanon on Sunday. Yesterday, many Israeli soldiers were killed. In the most serious incident, nine reserve paratroopers were killed and 11 wounded by anti-tank missiles fired on a house in the village of Debel, in the central sector. My nephew is a reserve paratrooper with that exact unit of paratroopers. He was in that very house trying to clear out missile launchers, but, thank G-d, he came out unscathed. He’s a delightful person, with 4 children, one who, sadly, was born with muscular dystrophy. We are all hoping and praying this ends soon for everyone and they all can go back home and live their lives in peace.

With much worry and trepidation,

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