I wish to begin by expressing my outrage and sorrow for the loss of our IDF soldier, Sergeant Major Shlomi Cohen HY"D, near the Border,between Israel and Lebanon . Yes we have suffered many challenges with the storm, no electricity, roads blocked etc but this is the most urgent issue that we must attend to. These soldiers were on Israeli soil and were attacked with no provocation by Lebanese troops.
Considering United States and world priorities, this will go by quietly because after all it is merely Jewish blood. My heart goes out to the familiy and to our injured I pray for a quick recovery, and for Israel to finally learn that we must always be in charge of our own security and never depend on agreements, international forces or anything else- only on ourselves.
Now back to the storm. I wish to explain to those who are not connected with who and what we are in our communal villages, yes that is the formal name for Jewish communities such as Bet Horon where I live, and although the popular political name is "settlements" I wish to clarify who and what we are and how we live in our community.
With the outbreak of terror incidents in our regions we established various teams of volunteers comprised of the residents of our communities: security, rescue, education,and welfare. During times of a crisis these teams unite together and try to find solutions for the problems and difficulties that our neighbors in the community face.
Yesterday we met first thing in the morning to go over the list of the families and residents of our yishuv- community to check who may need special help because of the storm. Name after name we went over the list and marked down those who we wished to personally ask if they need any special assitance.
Our security coordinator kept sending out important messages regarding roads, electricity problems etc. And when a special medical emergency arose he was busy along with us to try and resolve the emergency of how we could get the person who needed emergency medical care in the hospital in Jerusalem ,there when the roads were closed.
Finally B"H -TG the solution came and we, the emergency medical team were given permission to take the patient up to Jerusalem going on the road leading from Jerusalem - the opposite direction for traffic going up to Jerusalem. The roads were filled with cars stuck there- dozens of them planted literally many times in the middle of the road even increasing the danger from the ice and heavy snow.
We succeeded in safely bringing the patient to the hospital and then began the very challenging attempt to return to Bet Horon. Twisting and turning getting stuck in traffic many times simply because of people who wished to see and photograph the snow, and after many changes in the route we finally were able to start back to Bet Horon.
The communal care and voluntary services that we are blessed with are not only during times of storms, war or tragedy. During happy occassions such as weddings, Brit, Bar or Bat Mitzvah, we are one family and have families that cook and bake, help with the Shabbat etc.
Yesterday looking around at the teams working in the office of the community, all of whom left their homes to slip and slide to get to the office to volunteer to help in this crisis I was so grateful to be a part of this. The world can call us "settlements" but we are a communal village - a community that cares about one another, cares about our country and people and will continue to volunteer in order to help. It is proven that when you give you recieve and we are blessed with this.