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July 29, 2016 / 23 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘mother’

A Soldier’s Mother: In My Little Country

Monday, July 18th, 2016

It’s been a heck of a busy day.

Early in the morning, my phone beeped with news that shouldn’t have been shared. A grenade had gone off in the north…there were injuries, possibly fatalities. Hours later, this was confirmed and at this moment, a family is flying to Israel to attend the funeral tomorrow of their 20 year old son, who came to Israel to live here, to serve in the army, as several other children in the family have already done.

Later, it would come out that the grenade that detonated killed two soldiers, one was the lone soldier whose family is flying now; the second was a Druze soldier from the north. Ironic because a short while after he died, another Druze, this one a security guard for the light rail in Jerusalem, saved dozens if not hundreds of lives when he identified and with another guard rushed to stop a terrorist armed with bombs who was about to get on the light rail in the center of Jerusalem.

And then, as if that wasn’t enough excitement in my little country. A drone was intercepted by Patriot missiles as it infiltrated into Israeli airspace over the Golan Heights.

There are days that are roller coasters of emotion here. Even the hint of a soldier’s death brings on terror and pain. When you hear that a terrorist attack has been averted, the sun shines a bit brighter, you walk a bit more sure that whatever diving plan there is, Israel remains protected.

When you hear that Israel has fired a missile to ward off a threat, you think war might be coming, yet again to your small country.

My first thought when I heard about the almost-terror attack this morning was that I was grateful that there would be no funerals, no mourning families. In the end, there are two families in Israel who are in mourning now. Tomorrow, there will be a a funeral – of a 20 year old soldier whose family is flying in from New Jersey right now.

In the end, tomorrow, I will go to the funeral of a lone soldier who died for Israel today and somewhere in the sadness, I’ll try to remember, as always, that there are blessings in life despite the pain.

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: Six Children…TWO Only ONE WEEK Old…Could Have Died Last Night

Monday, July 11th, 2016

This is a man who went for a drive with his family. His wife and six children last night after Shabbat ended…perhaps he was on his way home, I don’t know.

The two youngest of his six children are ONE WEEK OLD twins, the oldest a boy of 7. Eitan Finkel and his wife saw a terrorist with a gun directly in front of him. For some reason he will never understand, the terrorists hesitated long enough not to fire directly into a car with 8 people in it, six of them children.

They hit the side of the car, wounding Eitan in the leg. He managed to keep driving until he reached safety.

I keep writing that peace will come…it will come when things like this don’t happen. When families can drive safely without being shot. One week ago, in another attack like this one, the father was murdered, the mother critically injured, two children hurt.

This week there was a miracle…the car didn’t overturn, no one else was hurt.

No one was killed…and so there is little outrage here in Israel–none in the world.

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: There’s Desperate and There’s Stupid

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

I can’t resist this anymore and so, being as this is sort of my place to express my inner most feelings, here goes. I think Israelis and Jews have been desperate many times in our history. There’s desperate, and then there’s stupid. Desperate is when you do everything you can to achieve your goal because, basically, you have nothing to lose. In 1948, I firmly believe that the Jews were victories against five well armed, well-trained armies because there really was no “back” button, no return, no option to lose. We had our backs to the wall and no one was going to step in and defeat our enemies…and so we did.

In 1948, desperate to save the besieged Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem, hundreds of men walked dozens of kilometers to smuggle in food and medicine and smuggle out the elderly and the young.

We were desperate to bring Jews home from all over the world who were in danger and so we flew to Yemen and brought them back; we flew to Ethiopia; we flew to Uganda. We bombed a nuclear reactor in Iraq and a wannabe nuclear plant in Syria. Desperate times call for desperate measures. I fully believe that we are coming up on the desperation point in Iran as well. We will act – no, not desperately this time, but conclusively.

So, that’s desperate. I’ll put in here that the Palestinians are not desperate. Their quality of life in Israel is far above what it is in most Arab countries. They have access to better medical care, earn more, have longer average life spans and lower infant mortality rates here in Israel than elsewhere in the Middle East. They have access to shopping, plenty of food and water, sunshine, clothes, even schooling. In 1948, it was life or death for us, and we chose life. In each of the other cases, it was the same. This has never been a life and death struggle for the Palestinians.

No one is threatening their lives; no one is stealing their ability to work and lead productive lives and for the vast majority of Palestinians that I’ve spoken to, including Halil who works in the building where I do and with whom I talk on a weekly basis, at least, he is interested only in the quality of his life and that of his family. He wants to be able to get to work; he wants to be able to ride the train without worries.

He comes to me when there has been an attack and looks at me with the saddest eyes and when I cry, he tells me there will be peace…someday, though neither of us believes we will live to see it. Halil is not desperate, and he’s not stupid.

Stupid is when you know going in to battle that the only outcome is death. We’ve been there too but not often and Israelis tend to be Captain Kirk playing Kobayashi Maru. When the rules say logically that we will be defeated, we change the rules and do the unexpected.

And so, from the jaws of defeat, we tend to grab victory, develop the undevelopable, create a weapon that knocks down missiles and, with the grace and blessings of God, beat even the best odds predicted.

Despite the illogical victories in 1948, 1967 and 1973, Israel still works hard to prepare and understand the dynamics of a fight, the possible outcomes, etc.

Stupid is when you don’t do that. Stupid is when there is no possibility of victory, when defeat stares you in the face and you go for it…and really stupid is when you don’t really even have desperation on your side…just stupidity.

I’ll give you a few examples:

A s1
A couple of months ago, astounded guards watched as an Arab raised a knife, screamed “Allahu Akbar” and ran towards them. Gee, they fired. The Arab died.

Stupid. Knife versus gun – gun wins. Every time.

 

A s2

Yesterday, an Arab woman went at two armed soldiers with a knife. They aimed their rifles at her…and they pulled back…and she continued forward.

Almost in slow motion, they pulled back further, likely ordering her to stop and she moved forward, knife held ready for attack…and so, as one would expect…yup, they shot her.

Stupid. Knife versus gun – gun wins. Every time.

 
A s3
Today, an Arab man rammed his car into an army vehicle. Inside the army vehicle were three soldiers – all lightly hurt as ever so gently, the army vehicle rolled to its side.

The Arab in the car that smashed engine first into a massive, fortified jeep…didn’t do so well. Like the Arab woman from yesterday, he’s in critical condition.

And so a new dynamic to the equation. When you ram a fortified jeep with…oh, my boys are going to kill me…I’m so bad with cars. I’ll tell them it’s a silver car. They’ll tell me make, model and year. I’m going to guess – I could be wrong but let’s just go with my guess because it’s the best I can do – so like…when you ram a fortified jeep with a Subaru…the Subaru is going to lose.

Stupid.

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: The Marketplace of the Left: Times of Israel Censors a Soldier’s Mother

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Wow…cowards…OMG…WOW…

I posted a comment to the Times of Israel right now on an article attacking a blogger for explaining why he is no longer comfortable blogging at the Times of Israel…

Within about a minute, my comment was removed. Marketplace of Ideas? Yeah, not…

Anyone who wants to borrow my comment and post it…please do – I think everyone should copy and paste this…until they either allow freedom of speech or they change their slogan to “the marketplace of the left” and their name to the Times of Palestine.

The article attacking the blogger is here: Looking for a Fight in All the Wrong Places and attacks a fellow journalist for his outrage and his decision to leave the Times of Israel after writing well over 100 posts for them.

Against my better judgment, I’ll ask that you go to that article and consider posting my comment in your name. The Times of Israel is wrong, and so is the author of this article.

My comment (the one that was deleted…did I mention that they are cowards?) is here:

Actually, if you read the post made by the Times of Israel (referenced in my article: The Friggin Times of Israel) you’ll note that the complaint is even stronger than in the article you cite. It is interesting that in their coverage of the Tel Aviv terror attack, Tel Aviv as a noun (a city) was only referenced once; other times, as adjectives to explain which police force, which hospital, whatever. In the article on Hallel’s murder, the terror attack was referenced as a “stabbing attack” while the Tel Aviv attack wasn’t called a “shooting attack” but a “terror attack. And more – Hallel “died’ but the victims in the Tel Aviv attack were all “killed”…they didn’t die…they were killed (actually, to be honest, they were murdered).

And reference to Kiryat Arba as a settlement appears something like three or four times in that short article – it’s a settlement, a settlement, a settlement. Yeah we got that…given that Tel Aviv, where four people were murdered is only referenced once, isn’t it interesting that it was imperative to mention FOUR times, that Kiryat Arba is a settlement

As others have pointed out, using the term “West Bank” is clearly political and without question, the Times of Israel considers it “occupied” even if we were lucky enough this time to avoid that. But when used in relation to the bedroom in which Hallel was murdered, that is most definitely intentional and quite despicable and I commend “the author” for announcing publicly his disgust at yet another outrageous article attempting to blur lines and hide the truth.

I stopped writing for the Times of Israel several months ago after I was accused of “threatening” and “endangering” a writer/journalist/blogger simply by quoting the very outrageous words and clear incitement she used against an IDF soldier.

The fact is, I can name no less than five right-wing bloggers who have decided to give TOI a pass rather than put up with any more abuse.

How many different ways do you need it proven to you that the “West Bank” was definitely inserted in there to sway opinions? Hallel wasn’t murdere; she died. It wasn’t a terror attack; it was a “stabbing attack”. and, of course, it wasn’t just a bedroom where a child was brutally murdered…it was a “West Bank bedroom”. I’m a bit surprised, given that you live in the “West Bank” that you are not angered by this attempt, yet again, to separate this poor child from other Israelis.

I think criticizing someone’s post like this, attempting to censor someone’s opinion, is sadly typical of the Times of Israel. The original author has the right to his very correct opinion that feeds into the overall anti-Israel bias against Israel all over the world. When our own bloggers and journalists and media outlets can’t report and discuss such a horrible act using the correct words, what chance is there that others will get it right?

Hallel was murdered. In a terror attack. In her bedroom. Get it right; or don’t write it at all.

Paula Stern

A Soldier’s Mother: Days that Break Us

Monday, July 4th, 2016

I learned more than a decade ago, that there are days that fill you with strength, and there are days that break you. It’s over, you think to yourself. I just can’t go on. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t take it. Even the anger is not enough to sustain you; even the disgust at how blind others are is not enough to get you moving.

Ten more children have lost their father. When Sarah Techiya Litman’s father was murdered days before her wedding, she rallied not just for herself and her mother and siblings, but for all of Israel. Please come to my wedding, she begged Israel…and we did. So many thousands came that they had to shut off the wedding hall, letting in groups of people at a time as others left. The hall was filled, the outer grounds were filled. At one point, overwhelmed by the number of people waiting to share this evening with them, the bride and groom went outside to meet the people who had come to shower an orphan with love.

On Friday, Rabbi Miki Mark was murdered, his wife critically injured, and two of his children hurt in a terror attack not far from where they live. He leaves behind 10 children. Today, his children asked people to come to his funeral, to become better people, more loving. Rabbi Miki Mark was 48 years old…

Yesterday, Elie Wiesel died. He was 87. Both leave behind devastation and mourning. The death of Rabbi Mark leaves behind such sadness, a huge gap in a family, a community, a nation. The loss of Elie Wiesel leaves us with a void. Who will speak for the survivors now? How many are left? Are we ready to take on the challenge that Wiesel and others warned us was coming. Now it is on us to carry the torch of remembrance; to stand against a world that thrives on forgetting and dismissing the lessons of the past.

When someone who is well known passes away, people rush to post pictures of themselves with the person. It is a way of showing that they mourn, that they were touched by the person we have lost and they want to remind themselves and others of what once was.

This picture is now being posted on Facebook. It is a picture with three main people – all gone. Ariel Sharon, who led this nation to victory and was the essence of power. He was the lion that turned into the lamb; a man who built and then destroyed what he had helped to create. He was a man who forgot the future in the present that overwhelmed him.

Elie Wiesel kept the past with him and used it as a torch to light his way into the future. He led generations with a simple message. Tolerance, acceptance, peace, respect. Be human and be humane. Don’t surrender to tyranny. Fight for life – your own, and the right of others as well.

And finally, Rabbi Michoel Mark, who lived the life these other men fought for – to be a father of Jewish children, to live where he wanted to live in this land. It is both tragic and ironic that Rabbi Mark was murdered on Friday and Elie Wiesel died on Saturday. If Jewish law is to be followed, both will be buried today.

In Israel, we are in mourning for children who have lost a father, for a community that has lost a leader. For the pain of a wife, fighting for her life. Unconscious, sedated, and unaware that her life is forever changed. For their broken children who have called on Israel to come to the funeral and for the hundreds who have.

A picture, frozen in time, of three men who led the world in different ways. Elie Wiesel, as a survivor who chose to live in the United States, but loved Israel and came here often; of Ariel Sharon, who fought for this land as a lion of Judea, and then lost his way and surrendered to feed the monster that has been fighting and attacking our innocents for generations; of Rav Miki Mark, who chose the path of faith to fight for this land, to build a yeshiva where young men came and learned and dedicated themselves to the future.

Thursday, they murdered a 13 year old child in her bed; Friday, they murdered a father of ten. Today, we bury Rav Mark in tears and in pain.

Tomorrow, we will stand up, in mourning and in pain, in anger and faith, we will stand up and do what we have to do. We will be strong…tomorrow. We will not let terror win…tomorrow. Today, for a brief time, we will surrender to our pain, to the pain of a mother who suddenly buries her oldest child, to a summer lost before it began, to the agony of ten orphans who bury their father today and pray that their mother will not leave them as well.

Today, we cry from the depths of our souls.

Tomorrow, we will show them that we are not beaten, that we will not surrender. Ariel Sharon’s way was proven wrong. From the places he gave them, they shot a rocket that hit a kindergarten in Sderot that thankfully was empty. This is the legacy of Ariel Sharon. Elie Wiesel’s path is to remember what they have done to us in the past and do all we can to stop them. And so, generations after the Holocaust, we are still dedicated to remembering, to living with what the Nazis did so that it will never happen again.

And with broken hearts, we dedicate ourselves to the memory of Rav Miki Mark – the path is long but for an eternal people, we do not fear the future. We will stand. We will fight. We will not be defeated. From the earth that was given to us, we will build.

Today, we cry…but we live. Today, tomorrow, and into the future. Moments before this picture was taken, Elie Wiesel affixed a mezuzah to the doorpost of the yeshiva in Otneil. Today, it stands, tall and proud and filled with people. Tomorrow…we will rededicate ourselves to build.

May God bless the memory of Elie Wiesel and of Rav Michoel Mark and bless their memories and may God avenge the blood of all those who were murdered in the sanctity of God’s name.

 

Paula Stern

Missing Soldier’s Mother Blocking Gaza Crossing: If the State Won’t Bring him Back, We Will

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

The mother and family of one of the missing soldiers whose bodies are being kept by Hamas as bargaining chips for a future prisoners-release deal with Israel, took up a position in front of the trucks hauling supplies into Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing, declaring, “Now, after the deal with Turkey, we think everything is humanitarian. But if this is the case, how come so many trucks are being let into Gaza and they don’t return my son?”

“We’re trying to stop the trucks with our bodies and we won’t let this go on,” Zehava Shaul stated, adding, “The Israeli government sent my son [to battle] and it is its obligation to bring him back to us. If it won’t do it, we will. What are they expecting, that we’ll sit quietly?”

Housing and Construction Minister Yoav Gallant (Kulanu) told the press that the Netanyahu government is committed to bringing back the bodies, “but the Turkish channel did not fit” the mission.

Last week, the Shaul family erected a protest tent in front of the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, declaring that the deal with Turkey was a “mark of shame for the government,” which cares more for the Hamas than it does for her missing son and the other missing soldier, Hadar Goldin.

“I’m going to get my strength together and block [the deal],” Shaul vowed. “I won’t let you move. It will not happen. I promise you, my word is a word.”

Only two months before he was appointed defense minister, MK Avigdor Liberman vowed that his first task in office would be to issue a 48-hour ultimatum to Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, to return the two missing soldiers’ bodies to Israel or start preparing to die.

A website measuring how dedicated now Defense Minister Liberman is to carrying out his promise, titled Is Ismail Haniyeh Dead Yet? Has added a clock measuring how much time has elapsed since Liberman has taken office in relation to the corporeal well-being of the Hamas leader. As of the writing of this article, Haniye’s 48 hours have been extended to one month, three days and counting.

David Israel

A Soldier’s Mother: How Do You Eulogize a 13-and-a-half Year Old Girl?

Thursday, June 30th, 2016
Rena Ariel, whose daughter Hallel was murdered this morning, eulogized her:

I am giving you one last hug…I am standing here with a heart filled with pain and I am turning to you, the Arab mother, the Muslim who sent your son out to stab. I raised my daughter with love, but you and the Arab Muslim educators, you taught him to hate. Go, put your house in order…

How do you eulogize a 13-and-a-half year old girl? Tell me what words to use to eulogize a flower, a pure soul, who is courageous and beautiful. Your only sin was that you were almost perfect.

You were a ray of light in my life. You were the one who turned me into a mother.

You [God] gave me a present and now I am returning it to You. Take her. She is the flesh of our flesh. Hug her, because I will never again be able to touch her. Make room for her, so she can dance.

Paula Stern

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/a-soldiers-mother-how-do-you-eulogize-a-13-and-a-half-year-old-girl/2016/06/30/

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