War Live

I won’t repeat much of the war news that’s on the site. I’ll leave that to the news, though I doubt much of what they say is accurate. Things are moving very quickly, there’s a lot to cover, they don’t have full access, and most important, the pictures that grab are the ones of buildings being hit, not women and children huddled scared but relatively safe in Israel’s bomb shelters and stairwells.

What gets lost, but what is so critical to remember, is the timeline here. Gaza fired on Israel, has been firing for many months and years. They chose the timing of this action, not Israel. To expect any nation to sit quietly while hundreds of thousands of people come under fire is arrogant and naive, and the Palestinian leadership showed both these sins and many others in the last few weeks.

Gaza sent hundreds of missiles at our cities, our schools. Last week, the air force began to fight back. Earlier today, artillery joined the fight, and then tonight, many ground units, the navy, the engineering division and more moved in.

It’s 2:30 a.m. – I just got off the phone with Elie. I’d left him a voice message, but not spoken to him since Thursday evening when he told me he was in the war zone. He sent me a message telling me everything was fine.

I quickly typed a message – “I love you. Be careful and call me when you can. Any time.” A minute late the phone rang. He’s exhausted and off duty for the next few hours. Since afternoon, they have been firing. I asked him what he was firing at – dumb question and of course he couldn’t answer. I’m still new at this. I forgot to ask if he’s warm, if he’s eaten. More dumb questions – of course he’s eaten and he’s mostly inside the armored personnel carrier, so he’s probably warm too. Since Friday, probably not wanting any of the soldiers to give away any plans, all their cellphones were collected and not used. By now, the Arabs know our plans – they can see and hear them, so the phones were returned. While we were talking, I heard some booms in the background.

“That’s not us. You’ll know when it’s us,” he said.

“How will you sleep with this?” I asked as yet more booms sounded, some louder still.

Ima, I’m exhausted. I’ll sleep.” And strangely enough, two things became clear to me. He will sleep, and so will I.

I’ll write more tomorrow, but for now, I only ask you to continue praying for the sons of Israel. What they do, they do because Gaza gave them no choice. They say they don’t have food in Gaza – it’s a lie. Israel has been sending truckloads and truckloads of food and medicine into Gaza – all along, and even in the last week. There is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

They say we hit several mosques, places of worship. That too is a lie and our answer is very simple, as I wrote on Friday: A House of God is not an arsenal, and an arsenal is not a House of God. The minute you use a mosque to house explosives and terrorists, it becomes a legitimate target. This is true of your home as well. So, if you are going to store explosives and rockets in your home, the army of Israel kindly requests you not to store your wives and children there too.

For now, psychologically, Elie is exhausted…but fine. He’s proud of the work they are doing and believes they will succeed. For the next few hours, someone else is in charge and Elie will sleep. He’s safe inside the armored personnel carrier. May God watch over him, and all our boys this night and every night (and day) until they can come back home safely to their mothers.

Good night, my son. Sleep well.

34 Comments on War Live

  1. The WHY? of Terrorism in Islam… (and Hamas)

    When it comes to dealing with Hamas, Israel has no choice. Let me explain.

    I am an American living in Asia. I am not Moslem, but I am a writer and historian. I would like to share some information with you: information concerning Moslem violence and terrorism, and why the United States and its military allies must both continue to be vigilant, and when appropriate, respond to individual acts of violent Islamic terrorism with relentless, overwhelming, and deadly force, while at the same time, practicing moderation, restraint, and understanding when dealing with moderate Moslems.

    This information may help you understand what is going on not only in Israel and the entire Middle East as well as India, Pakistan, and China, along with other parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, and (soon) even the United States. In the not too distant future, Moslem extremists hope to involve you and your loved ones, as well as a vast number of other innocent victims in a man-made catastrophe: an organized and violent calamity of biblical proportions that is based on teachings that were deliberately added to the Koran, decades after the faith was founded.

    Disregarding the social, economic, and political factors that serve as underpinnings for Islamic terrorism, I will address the more fundamental issue: the religious teachings that sanction violence against non-Moslems and AGAINST ALL WOMEN. Here are seven verses from the Koran. These scriptures have been translated into modern English.

    …murder, crucify, or cut off the hands and feet of non-Moslems…Chapter 5 Verse 33 – The Koran
    …create terror in the hearts of non-Moslems …cut off their heads…Chapter 8 Verse 12 – The Koran
    …and fight non-Moslems until Allah’s religion is the only one…Chapter 8 Verse 39 – The Koran
    …of all the loot you plunder from non-Moslems, 20% belongs to Allah and to Mohammed. Chapter 8 Verse 41- The Koran (Author’s note: Loot included kidnapped female sex-slaves.)
    …Take as many as four wives from the women you are sexually attracted to … Chapter 4 Verse 3 – The Koran
    …God has made men superior to women… Virtuous women are obedient. If a woman becomes disobedient, beat her. Chapter 4 Verse 34 – The Koran
    …When it comes to marriage, Allah makes it legal for you to take as wives, women whom your right hand possesses. Chapter 33 Verse 50 – The Koran (Author’s note: This verse talks about the “loot” non-Moslems call… kidnapped female sex-slaves.)

    Most people in the western world have never heard of these astonishing scriptures, but they are in the Koran … along with a relatively short list of others, just like them. This is important because not all Moslems are the same; there are two very different types. Militant Moslems view these verses as commandments from their god – a primitive desert god, from an ancient land of heat, sand and scorpions. Militant Moslems think these teachings apply to life in the Twenty-first Century and they try to use them, regardless of the suffering and mayhem they create, whereas moderate Moslems ignore such verses because they were uttered a long time ago, when the Arabian peninsula, from whence Islam came, was a wild and savage place.

    Historians tell us these terrorist teachings are part of a cluster of ferocious beliefs that were deliberately added to one specific part of the formerly peaceful and tolerant Koran. These startling changes were made, decades after Islam was first founded in the Arabian city of Mecca. By the time of these changes the original (and real) prophet of Islam was dead. Thereafter the religious headquarters was uprooted and moved to the city of Medina. In its new environment, with new leadership at the helm, Islam mutated; it turned cruel and predatory.

    The historical record reveals that Islam didn’t simply fall from the sky as a full-blown religion, but rather evolved from a persecuted sect of Jewish-Christians. The first Moslems lived in the city of Mecca; they were actually part of a larger group of Jesus’ followers called the Ebionites.

    Ebionites were peace-loving disciples of Christ, who shared their wealth with fellow believers, and taught that a man should marry only one wife.

    In fact, women were much more independent in the Ebionite Jewish-Christian days of Islam. They were more influential too. I say this because my research has determined that the first prophet of Islam may have been someone other than Mohammed: I believe the first prophet was a very special Arabian princess named Khadija the Pure. Khadija was Mohammed’s first and only wife for twenty-four years. Khadija was fifteen years older than Mohammed. She was considered to be fabulously wealthy, and she was Mohammed’s employer, before she became his wife.

    Mohammed on the other hand, before he became Khadija’s employee, was an impoverished youth who had been raised as an orphan. Ultimately Mohammed worked his way up to a position as Khadija’s business manager. With time, Khadija grew fond of Mohammed. She even married him. However, Khadija was a liberated woman. In fact, Khadija was the one who initiated the marriage proposal to Mohammed! And after their wedding, she never allowed Mohammed to take other wives, or have other women in her house.

    Throughout her lifetime, even though Khadija had already converted to Christianity, Mohammed’s first and only wife for twenty-four years remained an important Arabian princess in the ruling family that controlled worship in the Kabba Temple, with it’s pantheon of more than three hundred pagan gods and goddesses. Clearly, in the early days of Islam, Khadija was a person of great influence in Arabian society: and clearly Mohammed, her husband… was not. http://www.TheMoslemInstitute.com

    After Khadija’s untimely death from a terrible illness, Islam was hijacked by a cartel of corrupt men, headed by Mohammed himself. The faith was abruptly relocated to the city of Medina and new beliefs were added to the Koran; at the same time, old beliefs were deleted or relegated to unimportance, and the religion was changed beyond recognition. In the end, Islam abandoned many of its Ebionite Jewish-Christian teachings. Women suffered the most: they became the focus of repression, scorn, and violence.

    Today, although moderate Moslems are loath to admit these ideas, and many of them are terrified to voice criticism of their militant Islamic brothers, because of fear that violence will come to them and their families, the fact remains that these added teachings are not the original beliefs of Islam; they are amendments: They are the terrorist teachings of Islam.

    In the near future, militant Moslems hope to unleash a Jihad: a Moslem holy war upon the non-Moslem world; not only upon Israel, the United States and Western Europe, but also throughout parts of Asia, including India and maybe even China, and Japan. Because the terrorist teachings of Islam sanction treaty breaking, deception, and war, as well as looting, murder, kidnapping, terrorism, and human slavery (including sexual slavery), so long as these crimes are directed against non-Moslems, there is no limit to the things these fanatics can do. But the scariest part: Militant Moslems will do everything… in the name of their primitive desert god.

    Once victory is attained in this violent holy war, these fanatics believe Allah will bless them with harems of kidnapped sex slaves taken from destroyed cities and nations, as well as enormous fortunes of loot plundered from the non-Moslem world. They believe this because of the terrorist teachings that were added to the Koran. These terrorist teachings even say ransoms paid to Moslem terrorists, to redeem stolen property (like hijacked oil tankers and cargo ships) as well as kidnapped men, women, and children, are part of the Islamic loot these vicious criminals are entitled to receive.

    These same terrorist teachings even allow Moslem men to force their kidnapped female sex slaves to marry them in Moslem wedding ceremonies, and bear children for them: whether the women want to or not. Terrorist Moslem teachings mandate only two requirements: The women must come from Christian or Jewish backgrounds, and secondly, if the unfortunate women resist, these same terrorist teachings say the Moslem husbands must beat them, and imprison them in their own homes.

    If the Moslem fanatics die while committing these crimes against humanity, as an eternal reward for their cruel deeds Islamic extremists believe their fierce desert god will admit them to paradise and bless them with luxurious palaces filled with riches and populated by seventy-two virgin brides, who are exquisitely beautiful, yet modest enough to struggle to control their unbridled lust to have sexual intercourse with a dead Moslem terrorist.

    With these stinging indictments against terrorist Islamic doctrines entered into the record, it is important to remember that the majority of Moslems are moderate, decent people who love God and practice acts of charity and kindness to their neighbors, both Moslem and non-Moslem. Such moderate Moslems recognize these violent teachings as obsolete and out of place in the Twenty-first Century. In the author’s opinion, in spite of enormous cultural and ideological differences that exist between the non-Moslem world and the followers of Islam, it is with this moderate Moslem majority that any long-term resolution to the Islamic terrorism issue will ultimately be negotiated.

    However, given the massive population increases taking place in the Moslem world, at a time when poverty, chaos, criminality, and religious fanaticism are burgeoning, the numbers of Moslems worldwide who declare themselves militant is increasing; the influence their growing networks of terror cells exert on Islamic governments throughout the world has reached crisis levels. Because of the terrorist teachings of Islam, modern civilization faces a nightmarish future; the attacks on Mumbai, India, the World Trade Center in New York, and the subway bombings in Spain and London are simply previews of things to come. In this ferocious Jihad, nuclear and biological weapons are almost certain to come into play.

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill: The road before us will be long and dangerous and terrifying; the United States and Europe and Asia must be resolute… and take courage. We must work together to neutralize militant Islamic movements… and if necessary… wage war against the governments that sustain them. At the same time, the non-Moslem world must also nurture moderate Islamic states and establish strong alliances with them. The very survival of our civilization depends on it.

    Are you are interested in learning more about an array of Islamic topics including:
    1. Who are The Seventy-two Virgins of Islam and how did they become part of militant Moslem dogma?
    2. What role did the Ebionites and Khadija the Pure play, in founding the original (peaceful) religion of Islam?
    3. What role does militant Islam play in modern human slavery?

    Visit The Moslem Institute website: http://www.TheMoslemInstitute.com

    Dane Dahl
    Author and Historian

  2. While I just started reading your blog this past week after seeing it on Milblogs.com I have been thinking about you all day as I heard that Israeli ground forces crossed into Gaza this morning.

    My prayers do go out to you and your son and his fellow soldiers.

  3. My daughter, a lochemet in Combat Engineering (who just had her twentieth birthday in December) called us at 9:30 p.m. Israel time (it was still Shabbat here) and left a messsage. She is going to be mobilized as well.

    Both your son and my daughter are doing what they chose to do, what they must do in defending our only homeland; I am very proud of her, and of your son too. I have been praying for Hashem to fight on the side of Israel, and protect her soldiers and citizens. And, to eradicate the evil facing Israel and the Western world as well (even though the West doesn’t really understand it).

    I don’t know which is harder, being in Israel, as you are, or being in chul, as we are. Our daughter is a chayelet bodedah.

    Hatzlachah and nitzachon to your son and my daughter, and to all of Tzahal.

  4. Amen.

  5. Keep breathing. And when you find it hard, know that we are breathing alongside with you.

  6. May Elie and all the other soldiers return home safely!

    We’ve added his name and the other names to our tehillim lists.

    Wishing you a Shavoah Tov.

  7. I just found your blog. Even though we don’t know each other, your writing has made an abstract situation more real. Tell your son I said thank you, because he isn’t just fighting for Israel, he is fighting for all of us who oppose the barbarity of Hamas and other terrorists.

    I’m an American and Christian, but starting tonight I’ll be remembering you and Elie in my prayers along with Israel, and all the brave men and women from every country who are fighting horrible but necessary battles against those who want to destroy us.

  8. As always, you say it for all of us better than anyone, dear lady.

  9. Is your son doing this?


    May this planet be rid of your kind once and for all. You guys have disgraced Israel so much that even my Jewish brother-in-law is writhing in disgust. When Bibi is elected, the real slaughter would be inaugurated.

  10. Oh wait, I forgot to mention that my comment won’t probably go through due to perennial censorship.

  11. There is a new publication of a book, Hours of Devotion by Fanny Neuda, the daughter of a Moravian rabbi. It was originally written in 1855. It was the first full length book of Jewish prayers written by a woman for women. It is excellent. I hope the following prayer, “For a Mother Whose Son is in the Military Service” will help you as much as it does me.

    Gird your sword upon your thigh, O hero
    In your splendor and glory,
    In your glory, win success.
    Ride on in the cause of truth and righteous humility,
    And may your right hand lead you to awesome deeds. Psalm 45:4-5

    Almighty ruler of armies, you who reign mightily
    In heaven and on earth, I raise my prayer to you
    From the depths of a mother’s heart.
    Turn your presence toward me
    And hear me in your mercy.

    Following the call of duty,
    My child has entered the ranks
    Of those who fight on behalf of our country
    To stand for what is right and proper,
    To fend off threats to our nation’s peace and security.
    I thank you, Eternal Parent, for having given me
    A child with strong, healthy limbs,
    Capable of carrying out this valiant task,
    But it shakes and terrifies my heart
    To think of the many dangers that will surround him.
    Young and inexperienced, far from the instruction
    And admonitions of his parents,
    How easily his heart might be tempted
    To be unfaithful to his duties and to fall into sin.
    Therefore I beg of you, Eternal Parent,
    Take my son into your powerful protection.
    Surround him with your all encompassing grace.
    Strengthen and invigorate every noble feeling
    And every impulse toward good that is within him.
    Strengthen and invigorate every memory
    Of parental guidance and advice
    That rises up in his soul-
    That the teachings of virtue and fear of G-d
    Never vanish from his sight,
    That his soul not turn hard
    Under the service of arms
    And that no corrupting influences overcome him.

    All-Compassionate One, grant my child
    Insight and strength, vigor and endurance,
    To fulfill his difficult duties with care and alertness
    So he may be guilty of no evil or transgression
    And not become confused or unstable
    Amid unrelenting chaos.
    And when the hot, difficult hour arrives
    When he is called out to the battlefield
    Where death holds its harvest-
    There, Eternal Parent, surround him with your mercy.
    Let your grace serve as a shield and as armor.
    Steady his arm, pour courage into his heart,
    And let the memory of the ancient heroes of Israel
    Stir in his breast, allowing him to enter the fight
    With strength and resolve.
    Let my child, through his bravery and valor,
    Bring honor to our people
    And show faithful service to our nation.

    Almighty G-d, hear this mother’s prayer for her child!
    Let my maternal blessing
    Surround him like a guarding banner,
    So he shall return with his service well completed,
    Healthy in body and spirit,
    Adorned with signs that his fulfilled duty
    Has been recognized and praised-
    To the joy of my heart,
    To the glory and praise of your name.

    Stephanie, mother of a Nahal soldier

  12. Anonymous 8:07 AM:
    I am skeptical of the validity of the video you post.
    1. It is carried by no other media, meaning that it is not even believed by CNN.
    2. It could be from years ago and kilo-miles away.
    3. It could be staged (see
    If it is true, then:
    4. It could have been the outcome of a “work accident” (PA terrorists working with materiel unprofessionally)
    5. The outcome of using human shields. “If you go to sleep with a rocket, don’t be surprised if you don’t wake up in the morning”
    (See the source of this imperative truism:
    However, I doubt this is the case with this video, as the IDF uses the “Knocking On The Roof” system of minimizing casualties
    And see http://muqata.blogspot.com/
    for live blogging of the war.

  13. Manya Shochet // January 4, 2009 at 10:53 am // Reply

    Anonymous, honey, have you ever been at a bomb site? That’s what it looks like. Not pretty. The in-hospital results aren’t nice either. Nobody’s arguing about whether or not war is hell. Tecumseh Sherman was right. We are going to knock Hamas down even if we have to, as Sherman said, “make Georgia [read “Gaza”] howl”.

    As to your charming editorial comment, “May this planet be rid of your kind once and for all”, we’ve heard this before. We have learned that it doesn’t pay to make nice to guys like you.

    “You guys have disgraced Israel so much that even my Jewish brother-in-law is writhing in disgust.” MY non-Jewish Protestant, Catholic, and nonaffiliated cousins think we should have started kicking butt long ago.

  14. may G-D protect your son and mine as well.

    As I type this in Chicago I say Tehillim for all our sons and daughters in the I.D.F and the American military in harms way.
    My son is currently in the Nahal Charadi which is part of the I.D.F.

    My father was a lifer in the American military and I grew up as a Army brat. G-D BLESS ISRAEL & AMERICA


  15. Dear friend,

    Your son, and everyone else’s, are in my prayers.

    HCPS you always get it just right!

    Anonymous hater – I’m sure you are a nice person somehow. Please open your eyes and be willing to be exposed to the truth.

  16. Its 4am here in Montana. Had to check in on you and Elie.
    I pray all is well with your son and you

  17. Praying for all the boys.

  18. A soldier’s father write similarly…

    The pain and dilemma of an Israeli father and citizen

    By Rabbi Donniel Hartman


  19. Thinking about Elie and all our sons and brothers and husbands and fathers and daughters and sisters who are ‘bifnim’ … and all of their families at home, praying and waiting …

    May it end soon and may they all come home healthy, hale and hearty to PEACE.

    Thank you for your posts …

  20. You are a true mother of Israel…my oldest is 10, but your son is mine too as are all of our soldiers. May Hashem bless you and Elie with strength, courage, and goodness.
    Leyla Shemesh

  21. The world is grateful to Israel for fighting terrorism at the tip of the spear. Best wishes from Singapore.

  22. May the rbs”o bless you and your family and protect your son and all the troops and grant them success.

  23. Have we all noticed how the haters hide behind “anonymous”?????

    I don’t need to get into the politics of any of this.

    THIS mother just wants to remind you that my prayers and my heart are with you.

    Breathing right along with you.

  24. As a American mother and grandmother your conversation with your son sounded unbelievably similar to what my sons’ and my conversations would sound like if I were in your shoes. I’m praying for all the mothers, sons and daughters of Israel!

  25. Israel is in my prayers! I have added a link to your blog from mine in my last post – to share with my friends what I have learned from you!

  26. I have two daughters, two sons in law, a granddaughter, and one on the way (a grandson, per the doctor, IY”H) in Israel. One of my sons in law is unable to serve due to medical issues, the other can serve and does. He was just called up and he reported. But when his officers learned that his wife is in her 9th month of pregnancy they sent him home. So he has asked for a day job that will enable him to still do his part. I am both proud of my children for their comittment to Eretz Yisrael and the Jewish people and I am equally scared/worried as well.

    My prayers are for ALL of Israel’s children, mine, yours and those whom I do not know. I also pray for the innocent civilians, non Jewish, Arab, Palestinian and otherwise for their pain and suffering as well.

    May this war come to a speedy resolution (possible?)

    YOur strength is my strength, thank you!

    You can use my name: Rachel Stern

  27. Anirban - India // January 4, 2009 at 3:39 pm // Reply

    Though I am neither Israeli nor Jewish, I understand the evil you are facing. Though many otside Israel do not see it yet,I belive Israel fights a common evil for us all.

    People in my country have also lived through something similar in my country at Mumbai very recently.

    I pray for your son’s safe return, I pray that God gives you and your people fortitude to get through dark times like this, and for Israel’s victory in this war.

  28. Hi from Portugal again. We all understand the israeli reasons to the war, and blame terrorist acts of the Hamas. I personaly was very impressed whem israel sent many palestinian prisoners alive away in return of two dead bodies last year. I cannot pray because I don´t believe in a God. My heart goes with you and all mothers like you who have a son or a daughter in the war zone.
    Maria, mother of 3.

  29. My heart goes out to you and all the mothers of our beloved soldiers. May they be well, and come home safely.

  30. Putting my 5 and 7 year old to sleep tonight we talked about the situation and prayed for the soldiers and those who live in harms way. As I came upstairs and reflected on my moments with my boys, I thought of moms like you who had moments like this as well, not much more than 10 years ago. My heart is with yours, and with all of us who are praying for the safe return of all of our boys. I too will be passing on your link…keep writing and keep breathing! 🙂

  31. What you are saying is that war is horrible. It efects all sides – all mothers, all fathers. So why the hell did Hamas start playing with fire and land us all in this mess? That is a crime.

  32. I am a mother as well. I am the owner of http://www.thefivetowns.com, on Long Island. I am posting your blog on our website so we can provide whatever chizuk we can to you. Our tefilot and thoughts are with you at this time. If you would like to send us a personal message, dont hesitate to email me at thefivetowns@aol.com. chazak v’ematz.

    Suri Stern

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