With the ground assault come casualties. Heartbreaking to Jews anywhere in the world but here is Israel the pain is very, very deep. Having seen their young and beautiful faces this week, so filled with life and now they're gone. How difficult to comprehend...How will the parents go on? And their siblings. Imagine trying to explain that their brother or sister won't be coming home...ever again. Horror, unimaginable horror.
When I met Avi, a young man of 24, younger then my daughters, he told me he completed his army service but had been called up as a reservist. He had been involved in secret operations to weed out terrorists. "I put my life on the line many times," he said, "to make sure civilians were not hurt." How many countries have the moral fortitude of Israel? Tall and handsome, articulate in English, Avi was prepared to do whatever was needed when his country called.
Could he have been one of the ones who lost his life today? I'll never know but I'll never forget him. We saw so many soldiers, beautiful and happy kids, and I thought “Why?” What a horrible, horrible waste.
I'm not observant but I will go to the Wall to say kaddish and pray for peace. What else can I do?
Yesterday, we were in traffic throughout the day. We saw tanks being redeployed everywhere we went. Two tanks per flatbed and with their immense weight, you can imagine they don't move quickly. The mission participants were eerily quiet each time we saw them pass. The reality of what was happening was now setting in.
We stopped for an unscheduled rest stop as the trip was taking twice the normal time. Many military vehicles were also pulled over. Again the picture that will always haunt me is the good-looking tanned young men and women. Having a burger, enjoying an ice cream cone. We talked to them and they were in good spirits.
Did one of those beautiful, tanned, bright "kids" die today?
When I arrive home, I will be thrilled to see my kids and I'll hug them very hard. And I'll cry.