3:00 a.m. – quiet…..

It’s 3:00 a.m. and I’m ready to go to sleep after finishing off work for three different clients. What a day…ended up with having to take my husband to the doctor and lost hours of work but he couldn’t go alone. Things are stable there and that’s what counts.

The house is sleeping – Coco the loud bird is asleep on his perch; Simba asleep in his bed. Elie went to a wedding of a friend tonight and Lauren went with him; he’s on call for the ambulance tonight and so Lauren, also a trained medic, came to sleep over and should there be a call, they’ll both go running. So far, thankfully, there have been no calls.

A few days ago, as we were driving home; I saw a girl sitting, stretched out on the sidewalk and as the car passed her location, I could see she was in pain. I told Elie to stop and see what had happened. It was interesting to watch.

Elie and Lauren both got out. This is a religious neighborhood and what had happened was that one teenage girl had fallen and hurt her arm and was shaky; her friend was trying to help her. Lauren stepped right in; Elie crouched nearby but let Lauren take the lead. They spoke to her for a few minutes; checked her arm, her pulse and agreed that she should go have the arm checked out. It would be cheaper for her to go on her own than call an ambulance and there was little more they were likely to do for her beyond the sling that Lauren tied on for her.

Elie leaned forward to help her stand; the rest was simple and we were on our way. In the meantime, tonight I found out that Davidi had passed his test after about 60 hours of training – he’s now cleared to become a volunteer on the local ambulance squad…as Amira once did, as Elie still does, as Shmulik once did, as Lauren and Chaim still do. It is such an amazing thing to learn, to contribute, to do.

I’m so proud of all of them. Davidi gave up his entire Hanukka vacation to go every day to the course and sit there learning about how the human body operates and how he can help identify and fix things. He came home and would ask Lauren and Elie questions. At one point, he explained that a different instructor came in to teach them one section.

The new instructor began to explain that in Israel, ambulances also take care of animals…and that at least five questions on the test would be on what he was about to cover – and they had to get at least three of them correct. The young teenagers – most like Davidi around 15 years old…began taking notes frantically.

This is how you save a choking snake, he began…and they all wrote it down.

This is how you give a cesarean to a turtle…and they wrote it down.

By the time they were on the third animal…finally, the teenagers began to wonder. One asked, “are you being serious?”

At which point, the first instructor and the second instructor began laughing uncontrollably. The other instructor knew she would not be able to deliver this joke without laughing and so the substitute came in and for 30 minutes they had these kids going. Lauren laughed so hard when she heard the explanations. Apparently, this is a known part of these courses – she teaches about hamster treatment, but thinks she’ll borrow the snake idea for her next class. These are 15 and 16 year old kids who have given up their vacation to learn very serious things about how to help in times of emergency – it’s a way, perhaps, to remind them that there are things in life you still need to laugh about, smile about. It’s so brilliant, so perfect, so Israeli.

What an incredible gift these young people bring to our country…but what an incredible gift they receive. They learn how to handle a crisis calmly, to ask the right questions, and help. I’ve seen Elie time and time again, calmly step into a situation; Lauren has infinite patience and was so gentle with the young woman – as she is when Aliza gets frustrated and tired.

So – it’s 3:15 and I’ve relaxed enough to go to sleep. May it be a quiet night for Elie and Lauren…and all of our city and our country. And as I do each night before I go to sleep – I take a deep breath and check to see if rockets were being fired at our cities.

It seems it is quiet there as well. Today, rocks were thrown again at an Israeli bus and a car – no injuries reported though there were some frightening moments as the windows shattered. And two young Arabs were caught at a checkpoint with ammunition and pipe bombs. They confessed that they had hoped to get into the courtroom where the second of the Awad cousins was being sentenced for his part in the brutal murders of the Fogel family in Itamar. Five life sentences – 132 years.

And even that is not enough. But for now, I’ll be happy that some measure of justice was given today and hope for the Israeli government to be smart enough never to release these two killers. And lest I sadden myself enough to block sleep, I’ll return to the wonderful news that it is 3:20 in the morning and my babies are all safe and asleep.

My oldest baby sleeps with her sweet and wonderful husband and her amazingly amazing baby; my second baby sleeps in his room, his fiancee asleep in his baby sister’s room. My third baby sleeps in the apartment below our house with his beautiful wife. My fourth baby passed his test and will now go out on ambulances to help others and tonight he is asleep in his room. And my youngest baby will soon turn 12 and celebrate her bat mitzvah…she sleeps in peace and with less fear than she has had in many months.

May God watch over my children and bless them with health, with safety, with love, with joy.

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