What I Want…and What I’ll Do

What I want…is to go collect my little boy and bring him home. I want to lock him in a room and tell Israel that no, you can’t have him. I’ve changed my mind. No, I’m sorry. He’s not allowed to play with guns and big things that go boom. No, I’m his mother. I gave birth to him and no, you simply can’t take him.

What I want…is to call him and make sure he is where I put him, where he told me he was yesterday. Not in the north, where Hizbollah is promising to burn the ground and open a second front and not in the south, where dozens of rockets and mortars have been fired at Israel, where a man was killed and dozens were wounded.

That’s what I want…

And what I’ll do, is sit here at my desk and keep editing this document for my client. I’ll update the copyright statements and change the installation information to reflect the new platforms the product now supports. I’ll answer the phone and I’ll talk to my accountant.

And what I’ll do, is tell my heart to settle. I’ll tell my eyes to take a moment and look at the next beautiful wave of clouds rolling in over Jerusalem. I’ll sign the papers I need to sign; type the words I need to type. I’ll tell my younger daughter to clean her room and my younger son that he has to study for his test NOW. I’ll tell my middle son he can borrow the car like we agreed, but he has to drive carefully. I won’t talk to my oldest daughter because she’s old enough to see the cracks in my smile and know that outside, it’s all a front.

What I’ll do is answer the phone if Elie calls and I’ll talk to him calmly. I’ll listen if he tells me he’s staying where he is. I’ll listen if he tells me they are moving him up north. I’ll listen if he tells me they are moving him down south near Gaza. I’ll listen, I’ll tell him to be careful, and call me when he can. I won’t for a single moment, tell him that I’m scared, that I have no real experience with this war thing and that I don’t really want him to have any experience with it either.

What I’ll do is continue to listen to the news and pray for our civilians who are under attack, and our soldiers who are risking their lives to defend them.

And most of all, what I will do is dig deep inside where I store my faith in God and in my country and my people. I will do what every Israeli is doing today, hoping this will end soon, but not too soon that we only succeed in putting off to tomorrow what should have been dealt with today. I will do all of this because we are what we have always been, a nation with no choice but to deal with what our enemies choose.

They chose to shell our cities with rockets and so we must stop them. They chose the path of war, so we will set the scenery around this path. Our scenery will include our air force that will knock out their launching pads; our scenery will include our navy and tanks. We’ll eliminate the tunnels they use to sneak into our land and those they use to smuggle weapons and terrorists to harm our people. We will change the scenery of Gaza, so that their training camps will no longer exist.

The world may forget that it was Hamas and Islamic Jihad who chose rockets and mortars and missiles with which to attack us; they may fail to recognize that we use our air force, our tanks, our ground forces and our artillery to protect. For once, Israelis are united in one simple reality. We cannot afford to bend to the world’s will, if that means our children live under rocket fire, if that means people are forced to run for shelter with mere seconds to alert them.

We are, above all things, a nation that chooses life. Today, we choose to protect the lives of our citizens. Maybe deep down, what I want is to hide inside myself, but what I will do is what every Israeli is doing today – having faith that we are bringing a better reality to our country by taking its safety into our hands. Our soldiers have our faith, they have our prayer, and they have our love.

May God protect the soldiers of Israel and watch over them as they do what they must. They cannot be defeated because where they go, they will not be alone. They have with them the Defender of Israel.

32 Comments on What I Want…and What I’ll Do

  1. As I leave your incredible posting, with tears running down my face…again, I thank you for speaking from my heart. Thank you so much for what you do…for our soldiers…and for their mothers and fathers too….for those of us who cannot speak with your eloquence. G-d bless.
    A Nahal mother

  2. Please know that you and your family will be constantly in my prayers during this time. Even though my son is now a former soldier and no longer in harm’s way I remember well the daily terror that he would find himself in a situation that no one should ever have to endure. It is my prayer that you will be strong for your family, that God will enable you to trust your son and his training, and that God will give you peace in this chaos.

    Thank you for being such a strong voice from inside Israel. I wish everyone were reading your blog so they could gain some balance in the perspective of this situation. The media headlines now are all screaming about the severity of the Israeli attack, but where were they when all those rockets were raining down on innocent Israeli civilians?


  3. We are all thinking of you and the thousands of other mothers of soldiers.

  4. May you hear only besuros tovos.

  5. You, your family, and your country are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. I just found this video all about how just $1 donation can really help military families. It’s so true, I hope everyone watches this and can help. We deserve to thank the troops for all they’ve done.


  7. Thanks you for expressing what must be felt by so many parents tonight.

    Miles away in America, we scream at the televisions with their biased reports of the situation. How the world is unable to see this for what it is remains a mystery. Perhaps your voice will help others undertand the reality of the circumstances.

    May God hold Elie and all of his comrades in safety.

  8. thank you for your eloquence. may your son and all of Israel’s soldiers be safe and may peace come swiftly in our day.

  9. I can’t imagine having a child in the IDF right now. I think that I would go crazy from worry. Kudos to you for remaining calm (even if only on the outside). It’s strong mothers like you who keep everyone around them going.
    May Hashem keep Elie and all of his fellow soldiers safe. We’re praying for them very hard!

  10. This was so eloquent… and while I live in Canada, and am not even a parent, and can’t even begin to imagine the heartache and anxiety and fear (amongst other emotions) that you are most likely feeling right now, you should know that my thoughts are with you…

    May the soldiers of the IDF, and the citizens of Israel remain safe.

  11. I´m writing from Portugal, as a mother of three wonderful children. No matter what country, or what war, there is no language stonger than beiing a mother. I understand your fear, but cannot understand the war (yours or any other war). As a mother I hope your son return safe and well as soon as possible. As I hope all the soldiers to safely return their homes too (including the palestinian ones).
    I think ALL THE MOTHERS of the world should be together to prevent more killings, more sons and daughters to be lost. No country deserves the loss of a son or daughter. From the bottom of my heart I wish you the best, and I will keep in touch if you want me to. You have a very nice son and that is the strongest reason for us to talk. xxx. Maria Inês, Lisboa.

  12. may god bless and protect you and your family and Israel

  13. You write beautifully. Thank you for bringing order to our thoughts. And I agree with Rivster. (one comment above)

  14. Larry_in_PHX // December 30, 2008 at 3:11 am // Reply

    Tears running down my face too.
    Ad father of daughters in Phoenix,AZ, USA

  15. Thinking of you, Paula. I wouldn’t exactly call what we get on the “news” anywhere near the truth these days, so, thank you for your perseverance with this blog.

    This seems appropriate for you somehow… Do not fear; for I am with you; be not dismayed; for I am your God. I will make you strong; yes, I will help you; yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness. Behold, all those who were angered against you shall be ashamed and confounded; they shall be as nothing. And those who fight with you shall perish. You shall seek them, and shall not find them; men warring against you shall be as nothing, and as ceasing. For I, Jehovah your God, will hold your right hand, saying to you, Do not fear; I will help you. (Isaiah 41:10-13)

  16. My Grandaughter and I sit in our home in America. Wanting you to know we wish all of Israel’s sons and daughters Gods strength. Please know many Americans support ISRAEL.

  17. W Churchil said:

    “You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.”

    I have hope in Israel. I wish your sucesses!

  18. My friend and colleague Sue G. introduced me to your blog this evening.

    Kol Hakavod to Elie and to your whole family. My thoughts and prayers–like those of millions of galutniks–are with you.

  19. May your son, my son and all sons and daughters be protected. We have to be strong.

    A Nun-mem mother (very new in this function)

  20. Thanks for putting into words, the things that we just feel. We are sitting here, 2.5km from Gaza, we were exhilirated on Shabbat morning with the feeling that Tzahal was finally getting the go ahead. 48 hours later, although we’ve been pounded (in the space of 20 minutes yesterday 9 rockets) we’re still hoping to stop the kassams and grads and patzmarim. The residents of the kibbutzim have not been heard to be crying out over the last 8 years because we are lucky enough to be stronger both mentally and financially than the residents of Sderot, but even we are beginning to wilt just slightly at the edges. It’s a nerve wracking business – war. Just hope that Eli and his many friends are safe and that they manage to do there job to the best of their ability.
    Shkoach for your words of support for us.
    Another Soldier’s mother near Gaza…

  21. Your words remind me to call my niece in the IDF again and again. Amidst the pictures and the bloggers and the blowhards, you bring home the message of what’s in the parent’s (mother’s) heart. You all are in our prayers daily, hourly.

  22. Beautiful post. Perfectly said.

    So far, my sons haven’t been called up…

    But every soldier is somebody’s…

  23. I hope more AMericans will find your blog so they can hear the heart of “A Soldier’s Mother”. Thank you, again, for bringing the truth to light-

  24. Outstanding! Thanks for your clarity and keep it up!

  25. I cried also. Beautiful and heartrending, and I too wish this could be read by many others. I believe you have told Israel’s side as well or better than anyone out there, in a way that is more human and true-to-the-heart of what most Israelis feel, exactly the opposite of how so many of our enemies and non-supporters would portray Israelis and Israel as.

    Kol Hakavod, and I too will keep you and your son and family in my prayers.

  26. I pray that your son will be safe and that Israel will be safe too. This is a very heart-rending post, Paula. May G-d be with you and yours.

  27. Beautiful, beautiful. Thinking of you, Elie, and all of “our” children.

  28. I found your wonderful post through Donald Douglas.
    As an old soldier who did come home form Vietnam I can assure you that your fear is more intense than that of your son. You see, I sent a Grandson to Iraq, I have been on both sides of this fear.
    Your son is ready and able to defend your country, support him and his brothers and may God and your soldiers bring peace to your land.

  29. Thanks to everyone who has posted such beautiful notes of support. Thank you to each and everyone who is praying for Elie and his soldiers…and all our soldiers.

    Thank you to Sarge – I know deep in my head that you are so right…and now I just need the message to sink deep into my heart. Thank you.

  30. As the mother of a soldier, I feel for you. I hope your son will someday come home safe and sound.

  31. The power of words. Howeve,i am not a woman…but a blk-man who stands with the chosen people and understand a mothers pain. Soldiering is a job that must be done. May God give you and rest of the family fortitude endure.

  32. hello ma’am
    you and your family is in my prayers. i am an american in the U.S. i have tried very hard to join the military but due to medical reasons i was not excepted.
    i have a great deal of respect for the nation of Israel, im sorry our new president does not show the support that President Bush had.
    keep fighting till every terrorsist has been brought to death.
    God bless you

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.