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May 2, 2016 / 24 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘country’

Wedding During War

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Tomorrow, November 22, Miri Colman and Daniel Brooks are getting married.  Miri grew up in an observant family in Monsey, New York, and Daniel grew up in a secular household in Johannesburg, South Africa.  They each made Aliyah several years ago and became engaged this past spring.  They chose their wedding date, at least in part, because it coincided with the Thanksgiving holiday.

Last Wednesday evening, Miri and Daniel were savoring their last few hours together for the week because, as Ashkenazi Jews, they would not see each other during the week preceding their wedding.  Shortly before they were to say good-bye, Daniel’s phone rang.  He answered it, and learned he was being called up for military service.

He was told to call for instructions, which were terse.  Pack a bag, get his equipment, and immediately go to a certain base on a coastal city by midnight.  That meant he had to leave immediately.

Miri told The Jewish Press she began to cry, but Daniel automatically switched over into “soldier mode,” grabbed his bags, and within ten minutes he was gone.

When Daniel spoke with The Jewish Press, he admitted that he was completely surprised when he received his call-up phone message.  He explained, “it was the first day of the operation (Pillar of Defense), and we knew there was tension in the South, but I had no idea we would be called up.”

Daniel had grown to love Israel through his involvement with the Bnei Akiva movement in Johannesburg.  It was because of that experience that after high school he moved by himself to a country where he had no family.

Daniel is part of the Hesder Yeshiva program, one in which young religious men commit to a five year program that combines Torah study and military service.  Daniel is in the last few months of the program, a time in which he and his colleagues are – or at least were – in the study phase of the program.  Daniel studies at the Har Etzion Yeshiva, known to most as simply, “Gush.”

After arriving at the first base at midnight last Wednesday, Brooks and his colleagues completed their preliminary tasks, and the next day were transferred down, further south.

Miri is completing nursing school at Machon Tal.  She came to Israel after high school to study for a year at a seminary.  She went to Midreshet Moriah.  It was then Miri decided to make Aliyah.  She told The Jewish Press that she felt very connected to Israel, that she felt “at home” there, and experienced a great sense of Jewish pride.

Miri and Daniel met through mutual friends.  Their families and friends have had airplane reservations for months, so that they could all be together for the wedding.  And less than a week before that wedding, Daniel and his unit were in the southern part of the country, preparing to enter Gaza if that decision was made by the Israeli government.

But, encouraged by his buddies in his unit, Daniel informed his commanding officer, who then informed his commanding officer, and so on, that he was to be married in less than a week.  Friday morning Daniel learned he could return home.  He then trekked back across the tiny slip of a country, and was back in Gush Etzion in time for his Shabbat Chatan, the Shabbat named for the groom.

Daniel explained how hard it was for him to be back in the Gush, while his buddies, with whom he has studied and trained for years, were down in the south, prepared to enter Gaza if that is the order they receive.  He said, “it’s very hard, I’ve been through so much with them, and now they are there and I am here.”

So how was he able to come to terms with that separation?  It was because of the advice from his friends in his unit.  They told him, “you have to go home because the only reason we fight is so that we can build Jewish families and Jewish homes.  That is what you are going home to do.”

Tomorrow – G-d willing – Miri Coleman and Daniel Brooks will be married in Jerusalem.

 

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Violence in Jordan

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Al Jazeera is reporting major civil unrest in Jordan, with citizens attacking police stations and public offices throughout the country.

The report claims the violence is due to high fuel prices.

One armed man was killed and several policemen injured when gunmen stormed a police station in the north of the country Wednesday night.  Another police officer was critically wounded when angry men with automatic rifles overtook a police station north of Amman.

Close by, protesters torched a civil affairs office.

Unarmed protesters also took to the streets in Amman, with up to 1,000 people facing off against riot police who fired tear gas into the crowd.  Twice as many protesters chanted “and caused property damage 140km south of Amman in Karak.

Malkah Fleisher

Canada “Stands With Israel”

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

The Ma’an News Agency reported that Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird said Wednesday that his country backs Israel’s right to defend its citizens from air assaults by Hamas.

“We fundamentally believe that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens from terrorist threats,” Baird said in a statement.

“Far too often, the Jewish people find themselves on the front lines in the struggle against terrorism, the great struggle of our generation. Just last weekend, more than 100 rockets rained down on civilians in southern Israel from positions in the Gaza Strip.

“Canada condemns the terrorist group Hamas and stands with Israel as it deals with regional threats to peace and security.”

Malkah Fleisher

Of Course it was Planned!

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

“Of course it was planned,” Elie said half in frustration, half in surprise. “Idiot.”

The news anchor had just said that this operation – Operation Pillar of Defense – was planned months ago. “Every army makes plans. As soon as the last war ended, the army was making plans! We have plans for a war with Syria, with Egypt, with Iran, with Jordan. You think the United States doesn’t have plans for a war with its enemies.”

The “idiot” part of the comment shows he is still my Elie, still the one impatient with the stupidity of others. Elie is more of a deep thinker.

We were driving – Elie, his youngest brother and my next soldier (and yes, there goes my stomach at the thought and yes, my eyes fill with water and I blink it away,..lest you think I don’t take this seriously) and I were on our way in to work, to school, to the last day of the business week and the first full day of this war that began yesterday.

There were so many comments Elie made, so much talk of what it was like from his side. In truth, I’ve mostly heard the stories before and yet they comfort me because he is here not there. His voice is strong, not tired. He’s grown, he’s married, he’s safe.

Davidi was sitting in the back; the radio was broadcasting the news and Elie would listen and comment. And as the reporter spoke, we heard in the background the air raid siren. There was a brief pause in the reporter’s dialog and then he continued as the siren wailed. I looked in the rear view mirror and saw Davidi’s eyes.

Not a child’s eyes filled with fear but a young man, balanced on the edge, as Elie was not so long ago. I don’t want him to have that look, that understanding. He was waiting, as I was, to hear them tell us what had hit, where.

“Color Red, Color Red in Ashdod, Color Red, Color Red in Ashdod, Color Red” the voice calmly announced – Ashdod, Ashkelon… it was a woman’s voice – strong, calm. Insistent. Run, run to shelter. Get safe. Hurry….you only have seconds. Hurry, run! No, she didn’t say any of those things. All she said was “Color Red, Color Red in Ashdod, Color Red….” But all of Israel was saying those other words as we waited to hear the explosions. Hurry, please God, hurry. Be safe.

The siren in Beersheva – a 30 minute drive with traffic and I quickly lost count of how many rockets were fired at my country. At one point, the reporter was counting – “one, two, three, four, five, no six, seven, eight. Iron Dome has been fired eight times in Beersheva” and still the sirens cried.

The news anchor spoke to the reporter on location, “don’t they know all of Israel is hearing this?”

“Yes,” the reporter answered. “The last four times I’ve been on live broadcast, they’ve fired at Beersheva.”

They don’t understand us at all, I told my sons. Not at all. We listen to the sirens and the voice announcing an incoming missile attack. It does not weaken us, it infuriates us. It angers us beyond words. No – we are one people, one country, one body. You shoot at them; you shoot at me. No, this is just not something we can allow to continue.

There is that burst of anger that we express in words because we know it will never be done. I speak of making Gaza a parking lot – no, I am not genocidal; unlike those in Gaza who are firing at one million Israelis, I have no wish to see my enemy dead. Israel will never do to Gaza what so many other nations have done to that troubling pest that bothers them.

Look what the Syrians have done – they have murdered more than 38,000 of their own people in the last year – each time I hear the count – 70 dead today in Syria; 140 dead today in Syria; even 200 dead in Syria. Well, according to Palestinian sources, 11 are dead in Gaza and of those, without question, at least 7 are Hamas or other terror organization operatives. There is no massacre going on and I will not mourn the deaths of 7. I will mourn for the very few innocent casualties and I will wonder why some parent didn’t keep his child in safety, as we keep ours inside.

Paula R. Stern

IDF Initiating Call-Up of Reserves, Preparing for Possible Ground War

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

Though IDF Spokesman Yoav Mordechai says the call-up is limited and primarily focused on Home Front Command units, Israel’s military has begun calling up army reservists across the country, in preparation for a possible ground incursion into Gaza as part of Operation “Amud Anan” – Pillar of Defense.

According to Mordechai, a ceasefire is not in consideration at this time.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday night that he would authorize a broadening of air and sea attacks on terror infrastructure in Gaza, and that the military operation would continue until the goals have been realized.

Also on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the nation in a statement, condemning Hamas operatives for targeting Israeli citizens while using their own citizenry as human shields.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who early told the residents of the south that they are the “source of our strength in this battle that we are waging today”, praised the Shin Bet for providing information necessary for eliminating Ahmad Jabari and devastating Hamas’s Fajr long-range rocket arsenal.

He noted that the goals of the operation are “strengthening deterrence, injuring the rocket arsenal, wounding and hurting Hamas and minimizing injury to the civilians on the homefront of the State of Israel.”

Malkah Fleisher

Pentagon Defends Operation Pillar of Defense

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Warren issued a statement on behalf of the United States backing Israel’s decision to conduct targeted attacks against sources of terror against civilians in the south of the country.

“We’re monitoring the situation closely,” Warren said.  “We stand by our Israeli partners in their right to defend themselves against terrorism”.

Malkah Fleisher

MDA Goes To Highest Level

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

Update from Magen David Adom: MDA has gone to level 3 (highest level of prepardeness) in Israel’s South, and the rest of the country has gone to MDA level 2…

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mda-goes-to-highest-level/2012/11/14/

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