Houses of God

Breathe in…breathe out…I’ve been doing it all my life, so why today does it seem so hard?

In a conversation with Elie, we talked about the rocket attacks on Beersheva. I told him that a kindergarten and a high school had been hit hard – thankfully the buildings were empty. Of course, they were empty because we would not risk the lives of our children, and the buildings aren’t fortified against missile attack. Why should they be? Is your children’s school fortified against missiles? Who shoots missiles at a city where hundreds of thousands of people live?

And then Elie said, “that’s artillery, Ima.” Yes, that’s the point. The Palestinians are shooting artillery at us…and we will now shoot artillery back. And Elie, as he has told me in the past, is artillery.

So, last night, two things happened. The first, Israel warned a senior Hamas member to vacate his home. The army knew it was being used as an explosives storage facility. The army issued the warning, allowed time for the evacuation, and blew up the house.

As expected, there were numerous secondary explosions that were triggered by the initial Israeli missile. These explosions, one of which was shown live on Fox News the other day, prove that Israel is hitting explosives, not just empty buildings. Nothing exploded when the school in Beersheva was hit. Part of it just came crashing down.

There was one problem with the hit on the Hamas leader’s home. He indeed was not home – but the Palestinians didn’t bother to evacuate the building. The man’s four wives and eleven of his thirteen children were killed. One son survived. The other child died years ago when he decided to kill himself for the “divine” pleasure of becoming a suicide bomber to murder Israelis. So, this man who stored explosives in his home with his wives and children wakes this morning to a new reality – his wives, his children, and his explosives are all gone. I can’t help but wonder what he mourns most.

The second thing that happened last night is that the army of Israel moved my trained son to a war zone to help fight against those who fire missiles and rockets at our civilians. There is no military secret here. The army has already made it clear that artillery and tanks are in place. The only “news” here, is that the name of at least one of the soldiers in the artillery is Elie. My Elie.

This is good. This is why he is in the army – to defend his land and this is why today, amidst cooking for the Sabbath and baking a cake and cleaning the house and doing the laundry, I am going to try, really really hard, to remember how to breathe. It seemed during the night that I’d forgotten, but since I’m still here, I guess I managed it enough to survive…and I will today too.

And you would be so proud of me. I was so calm when Elie told me. Even when he told me he was going to close his phone to save the battery and so I can’t call him but have to wait till he calls me. I told him to be careful, told him to call when he can and didn’t start to cry or panic until I’d closed the phone.

May God please, please protect my son, all my sons – because they are all mine. Watch over them and keep them safe and guide their missiles to hit only those buildings that have explosives and rockets in them. And please, God, give the Palestinian leadership enough sense not to store their explosives with their wives and children.

Oh, and one more prayer – please take care of those Palestinian gunmen who are hiding themselves and their weapons in hospitals – especially in the maternity wards among the innocent newborns.

Oh, wait – one other – please ask the Palestinians to choose between praying in a mosque and storing weapons there because, if they store weapons there, like the two we have already bombed, we are going to bomb those structures too. A House of God is not an arsenal and an arsenal cannot be a House of God.

11 Comments on Houses of God

  1. still praying- my heart is with you-
    thank you for mentioning my comment in your previous blog-
    it’s unbelievable, what is happening- i wish I could do more, but know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and I’m telling my American friends about your blog-

  2. I am holding hands with you, Mamaleh, and davening, for all of them. Because you are right. They are all my sons.

    Thank you for writing the way that you do. It is a catharsis for those of us who cannot, or choose not to.

  3. Our thoughts are with you. Shabbat shalom.

  4. Thank you for giving a mother’s perspective. It makes it so real to those of us so far from your reality.

    May God continue to give you strength so that you may continue to give strength to Elie and so many others.

  5. My thoughts are with you, Elie, and with everyone in harm’s way.

  6. As always, our prayers are with you and Elie. BTW, we (the Israelis) did get the Hamas leader, Nizar Rayyan.

    Our son, who is currently stationed in the north, but is at home for Shabbat, just got a call from his commander that they might be going to Gaza very soon. We all just need to remember to breathe. Shabbat shalom and G-d bless.

  7. My thoughts are with you. I hope that you and your family find the safety and peace that is owed to us all. One important caveat however; please never again use prayer as a tool of criticism. If you are going to pray for the sake of the Palestinian people (as every praying Israeli should) then please don’t take that opportunity to criticize them with the same breath. War breeds atrocities by its very nature and to lay blame through the act of prayer does nothing to alleviate that.

  8. Thank you for this commonsense version of what’s going on. I get so sick of the “Israel is the bad guy” crap, I could scream. I promise, start lobbing rockets into Indiana and we come and find you, and wipe you out. “Israel must use restraint because it will offend the Arabs if they defend themselves” What nonsense. Only Israel is expected to act like the martyrs and doormats of the world.
    Kick ass, Israel!!!

  9. Ben from Montreal // January 2, 2009 at 7:21 pm // Reply

    Ein Kemo Imma….

    Every Mitzvah Every Prayer counts!!

    She’Nishma besirot Tovot!!

    Shyetamu Oiveinu !!


  10. My prayers are with you from Canada…God bless ALL your sons.

  11. Breathing….such a small thing, until you can’t do it. A former soldiers’ mom myself, I completely understand the concentration sometimes needed to remember that one small thing.

    Prayers for your family and especially for your Elie are going up from this American. Prayers for Israel, always.

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