The 7th of October 2023, Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah, the joyful festival of the Torah, is not a happy occasion this year.

By Anat Schneider | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
Photo: Dudu Greenspan/Flash90

Boom, boom, boom and another boom, I dream that my sons are going into battle.

Another boom?

Am I dreaming or am I just imagining this? I open my eyes, want to get out of bed and hear a voice:

“Good morning, there is war in the south.”

My beloved Aviel already has his cell phone in his hand and is catching up on what is happening. Dreams and thoughts merge. I wake up to a harsh reality.

And the more I open my eyes, the worse the news gets. And the more time passes, the worse the picture gets.

I refuse to believe what I hear. I want to fall asleep again. But reality hits with full force. Although I usually avoid watching the news, this time it wasn’t in my hands. This time it was out of my control.

The voices, the helplessness of the people in the south, trapped in their homes, in the shelters behind the trees. And the nagging question: Where is the army? The Israel Defense Forces were unprepared and were taken completely by surprise.

Where is the government?

Such a controversial government. Apparently they are still celebrating Simchat Torah, the celebration of the Torah. Even as the temple is being torn down, the people crushed.

And there is no voice of reason, not a single one. A voice that gives hope, that brings us to reason. But there is no voice, no answer.

And the phones and WhatsApps ring and beep.

“How are you?”

“We heard that an alarm was triggered at Bar Giora.”

“And the guys who were recruited?”

Yes, that’s right, an alarm every five minutes. But the situation is the same across the country. And I think of Eden, she doesn’t have a bomb shelter at home. She has a small daughter. I’ll call her.

“Come over quickly, at least we have a safe room here.”

At least we’re together.

And my sons, one in Beer Sheva, one in Ashdod and one in Modiin.

And on TV they talk about mobilizing reserves. I’m afraid to ask, but I have no choice.

“Have you been called up?” I ask quietly.

“Yes mother.”

Moran was called up immediately. He came to us for 5 minutes to get his things. His girlfriend Eden was also called immediately.

Tomer and Elad were both told to stand by and be available.

In our safe room.

There is no voice of reason left. The only voice is the voice of the heart. The only voice is the voice of the heart that screams so loud…..maybe we can find a good rehab clinic to recover all together after battles, wars and bloodshed.

And the only sane voice of hope that surrounds me right now is the voice of a one-year-old baby who asks for food, who cries when she wants to sleep.

She also cries for no reason.

She wants to play.

She laughs, falls down, raises her hands to be carried.

This is Michaela, my granddaughter.

I was promised when I was born that this would be the last war.

And what should I promise her?

There are no more happy holidays.