It’s inevitable that children will have, deep within them, fears that we cannot reach. They aren’t logical; they aren’t just a reality. If we are blessed, the fear rises and is expressed. These we can handle, address, soothe, and hopefully ease. It is the ones that remain below, hidden and unspoken, that concern me the most.
The Itamar massacre, as it is often being called here, may well have been a flash point in our history. It is a terrorist attack that touches us all, infuriates us, disgusts us. It doesn’t matter – left or right. If you are human, you have to condemn it and reject the concept of rationalization.
We got home late tonight. A bunch of factors came together, leaving Aliza without someone at home. She went to our next door neighbor. She loves going there – she gets to be the big sister. We spoke to her as we drove up to the house and she came home. She went to get ready for bed and then came out crying and shaking. “I’m scared,” she said in tears.
“What are you scared of?” I asked as I held her.
“I don’t know, but I’m scared.”
“There’s nothing to be scared of,” I told her and again asked what was bothering her.
“Where is everyone?” she asked me. And so I ran through the family, telling her where each person was.
“I’m scared of terrorists,” she said, “I’m afraid they’re going to come into the house like they did in Itamar.”
“We have bars on all our windows,” I told her. “We’ll lock the door as soon as Elie gets home.”
It took a while to calm her down; to explain that we are secure here; that everyone is fine. Elie came home a few minutes later and I told him to go in and see Aliza, even though she’d already gone to bed. I told him what she’d said and about her being afraid.
In the few minutes we were talking, his beeper went crazy – Color Red warning in Ashdod. “I heard an explosion,” I heard one man call out. Several more responded until someone in charge told them to stop talking so that everyone could listen.
Finally, a man came on and said it fell in open spaces between Ashdod and Ashkelon. Another beep, another warning. People in Ashdod should stay near the shelters; another rocket hitting near Ashkelon.
Elie went to Aliza and I heard them laughing. I locked the front door – more so I could say that I did, rather than any real fear on my part. And now I realized that Elie is on call for the ambulance squad tonight. A total of three missiles were fired at Israel tonight, and my little daughter is afraid that a terrorist will try to break in and kill her family as they attacked Itamar and the Fogel family.
So many thoughts jumble in my mind, so many emotions.