Just Lock the Door

It’s strange how things effect you and your children. Shmulik took our dog for a walk a short while ago. Simba is a relatively large dog and if any Arab terrorists are reading it, a particularly vicious one (for the rest of you, he’s a sweetie).

Shmulik came in and without saying anything, went upstairs. I didn’t know, but he was checking in with his commanding officer. Apparently, he saw police searching the edges of our neighborhood and wanted to find out if S. knew of anything happening.

Then he called down, “You should lock the door,” he said.

“Why?” I asked.

That’s when he told me that he’d seen the police searching and had called his commanding officer, “it’s probably nothing. Just lock the door.”

I locked the door; I lowered the shutters. No, I don’t believe there is anything happening, but just two nights ago, terrorists went into a home and murdered two parents and three of their children. We are a country in mourning; an angry one.

Today were the funerals. It was impossible to listen to the long funeral broadcast over most of Israel’s radio stations. It was impossible not to listen. I drove home from a meeting with tears in my eyes as I listened to the agony in the voices of the brothers and parents of Udi and Ruthie Fogel. The mourners wailed in agony, as each person mentioned little Hadas – only 3 months old.

I got up from the computer and locked the door tonight because I want my children to feel safe. I closed the shutters because I want to block out all evil.

Tonight, we went to the wedding hall where Shmulik will be married in a few short weeks. We tasted salads and main dishes and chose what foods will be served to our guests. Such a strange day, such waves of agony. A strange blend of normal, of life going on and plans moving forward, and a feeling that we will never be whole again.

It wasn’t fear that caused Shmulik to tell me to lock the door, it wasn’t a feeling of helplessness. It was a logical suggestion. Probably nothing out there, but the locked door might be enough, if something were there. Why play with fire? What harm to lock the door earlier than usual?

“Ima, did you hear about the family in Itamar?” my young daughter asked me a few minutes ago. She wasn’t around when Elie told me last night after the Sabbath ended and it never occurred to me to explain to her such horror. Today, she attended a fair at the junior high school in honor of the upcoming Purim holiday.

“All the money we raised today, we are giving to the family,” she told me. My daughter goes to the same youth movement as Tamar, the oldest child of the Fogel family. Tamar, just a few months older than my daughter, had gone to Bnei Akiva and come home afterwards. She found the house locked and went to a neighbor because it should have been unlocked. They entered together, and found the bodies of her parents, her brothers, her baby sister. She found one of her little 2-year-old brother shaking is parent’s bodies, trying to make them get up. I can only hope these details are not known to my daughter.

“Bnei Akiva saved her,” my daughter said, “because if she’d been home, she would have died too.”

Too much knowledge for an 11-year-old. “And they killed the baby. Only 3-months-old.” Too much knowledge.

“Just lock the door,” said my 20-year-old said as he went back upstairs. Too much knowledge even for a 20-year-old.

2 Comments on Just Lock the Door

  1. Do you or your sons think that an alarm within the house could avoid this drama? If yes, would it be permissible to play around with the alarm on shabbat (i.e. enter the code when a family member returns home after family went to sleep)

  2. Please know that many of us outside Israel share your grief and your anger. I am so very angry.

    I have no words to offer, just the assurance that – as always – I hold you all in my hurting heart, and stand with you in Israel.

    With love..

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