Night Terrors

It’s 3:30 a.m. here in Israel. Deep in sleep in the middle of the night after attending a family wedding, and the house phone rings. We answer it but no one is there. Annoying, but it happens once in a very blue moon. Close the phone. A few minutes later, the phone rings again. More annoying. I’ll let my husband pick up the house line. It’s better if they hear a man’s voice on the phone. Maybe I should listen in.

On separate extensions, I answer too, and again, no one is there but my husband.

“Check the caller ID,” I tell my husband over the phone, “and then we’ll call the police.” Good, let the creep know that we can see his phone number and maybe he’ll stop.

“I did,” he answered back through the phone, “and it’s Elie’s number.”

“Oh, God,” I say, not so calmly, “I’ll call him.”

“He’s probably sleeping on his phone,” my husband responds back. He is ever the logical one, but it’s no match for my ability to imagine, to fear. My mind is racing. He’s injured somewhere. The Syrians have attacked. He’s back in the Golan, first night there – something has happened. Breathe. Think.

“I’ll call him,” I say out loud, about to close the phone.

“I tried that,” my husband says. “He doesn’t answer.”

“I’ll try,” and I close the phone, already dialing on my cellular phone, as my husband has tried on his.

I tried to call, and I keep getting a tone that tells me the phone is already engaged (probably still connected to the house phone) and I’m transferred to voice mail. No, I don’t want to leave a message. I want to know that he’s safe and asleep.

I quickly click in a text message and send it. “Are you calling us? The house phone rang twice and it says it is your number. Call me.”

I send the message. I click to redial Elie’s number and a groggy voice answers, “Mmmmm?”

“Elie, are you ok?”


“Is your phone in your pocket?”


“Close your phone and go back to sleep. I love you.”


So, here I am. Typing at 3:49 a.m. Beginning, very slowly, to see the humor in this. No night terrors. No wounded son, thank God forever and more. No Syrian attack, again thank you to the Most Merciful One. My husband is back in bed, gently snoring nearby. Elie is probably sound asleep, back in the north where he went today for the next round of training and I’m wide awake at 3:51 a.m.

May I never get any call in the middle of the night from Elie – except one dialed in his sleep automatically by a phone that doesn’t understand that mothers get terrified so quickly…wait, too broad a wish – ok, may the only calls I ever get from Elie in the middle of the night be deliberate, not accidental, and may they be filled with only good news (I’m getting married to (fill in the blank here); my wife (fill in the blank here, same as previous) has just given birth, etc.).

Me? I’m going back to sleep for the next two hours and hope that my heart settles back into a normal rate and catches up with my brain. He’s fine. He’s asleep on his phone. This is funny. It really is. He’s safe. He’s safe. He’s not hurt. He’s safe. A few more times, I’ll whisper it to myself and I’ll sleep.

Good night, baby.

4 Comments on Night Terrors

  1. May HaShem bless you, your family, and your son. Thank you for his service and sacrifice to keep us in our Homeland. May we never be exiled again.

    I love you blog and I’ve really enjoyed reading through your posts! I am placing a link on my site to yours. Again, HaShem bless you and Shabbat Shalom.

    L’Shalom, Yehudi

  2. You have to trust Lazer more. 🙂

  3. another mother of another soldier. // November 4, 2007 at 6:03 pm // Reply

    You are not alone! This has happened to me (I think to all soldier’s moms). It happened a few times when my son’s cell phone was in his backpack, on quiet, and he was leaning on the pack. I couldn’t even call him to make sure everything was all right. (Because of the phone being on quiet). My husband keeps telling me that if anything happens (“chas ve’shalom”) we will be informed. Thanks a lot! I cried when I read this entry. Glad Elie is all right!

  4. I can fully sympathize with how you’re feeling. When my daughter was in Magav, my worst nightmares were on Shabbat because I couldn’t call to make sure everything’s fine. I don’t remember ever in my life having said Tehillim so fervently like during those 2 long years. I’m grateful to HaShem that she hasn’t got Miluim, because 2 years was more than enough for me. May HaShem keep your son safe … and may HaShem give us Moshiah TODAY and spare all these Jewish mothers the ordeal of worrying about their children in the army. AMEN

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.