It’s been a week of stories.
Moshe’s story, serving bravely in the IDF, leaving his young wife and children. We brought him and his brothers-in-arms your children’s drawings with messages of love and support. The ice-cold drinks we gave them refreshed their bodies, the drawings warmed their hearts and souls. I asked Moshe, “Who is more worried about you right now, your wife or your mother? “No question, my mother.” For security, he said they were not allowed to have their phones on that base. So I filmed him and sent it to his mom, who wrote me back:
Omg!!!!!!! Thank you for sending!!!
I haven’t heard from him since last Friday before Shabbat.
I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you sending the video to me. I am sitting here crying, actually balling, tears of joy. We have a parents group and slowly the boys are calling home, and since I haven’t spoken to Moshe– or Morey as they call him in the army-, the timing of your video was PERFECT! From one mother to another, thank you!!!!!!!
Adi’s story of her beautiful daughter, Noa, turning 19 in Gaza, where she is being held captive, having been kidnapped by the murderous terrorists. Every day is a nightmare for her and her family, with no word on her or any of the other victims. I met Adi at Aish’s World Prayer Event overlooking the Kotel. She told me (in broken English):
She is waiting for me to save her. Every mother have a power.
Please pray for Noa and all of the other children, father, mothers, babies…waiting for us to help them.
I hugged her the longest hug and told her the mothers of the world will be praying for Noa bat Adi, and asked her what else we can do to support her. She asked that you would send her and her family messages of love and support.**
Batya’s story of a mother’s incredible bravery, tenacity, and devotion– sharing a story that sounds like a Hollywood suspense movie. We met her at the Shefayim Hotel near Herzliya, where the surviving Kfar Aza families of the Oct 7th massacre are being housed. On one hand, it is one big shiva house; on the other, it is a home of resilience, camaraderie, and love. Companies like El Al have sent teams to create a festive atmosphere with ice cream, falafel trucks, toys, and basketballs. A school for toddlers to high school seniors has been formed. We sat with Batya and others, told them who we were and who we represented, cried with them, hugged them, and after she told us her story that is far too horrifying and long to tell now, she looked at me and said:
Yes, it is the Ima. My daughter, who saved my grandchildren, says she is not a hero; she is a mother. I am not a hero; I am a mother.
There are more stories, some too dark and upsetting to share, but also so many filled with hope and light. There is so much to do here every day and night, and the people of this country are infused with unity and non-stop chessed (loving-kindness). I don’t yet have time to process all of the stories, focusing instead on holding, helping, organizing, responding, and beseeching the Heavens. Day and night, we try to comfort those in grief, give hope to those in fear, and ask
G-d to show us miracles in our time, so that these and other stories can turn to one united one that speaks of the rebuilding of one nation, stronger, wiser, and committed to fulfilling the mission given to us at Har Sinai: to be an Ohr l’Goyim, a true Light Unto the Nations.
From Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people.
Good Shabbos, Shabbat Shalom.
*please keep the children’s drawings and messages coming, we need more, (we have received over 2,000!), scan and email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
**to send love and support to Adi, you can reply to this message or email me and I will make sure she gets them.