In ongoing missions, our soldiers attacked over 2,150 sites last night. One precious soldier was killed last night - today we mourn for him, the first to fall in this battle. May his memory be forever blessed.
Today, all of Israel is praying that our sons find the rockets and tunnels used to terrorize our people...in the last war, soldiers came back with stories of old women who led them to safety...saved them from near-death situations...many thought it was Rachel Imenu guiding her sons....I have always believed this to be true. Ben Gurion said long ago, to be a realist in Israel, you must believe in miracles...there were so many miracles in Cast Lead that saved the lives of our boys...
And we have seen nothing less than miracles in the last 10 days...I have no doubt each soldier that goes in, goes in with God watching over him and Rachel guarding him...Am Yisrael Chai - the nation of Israel is strong, our sons are the most amazing, dedicated, and trained soldiers in the Middle East and likely the world. They know all that they do is directly related to protecting their people, their families...
We, those who are not in there, have FOUR jobs today to help our soldiers.
1. We can stay safe so that they look forward and not back; so that they worry for their own safety and mission, not worrying about us.
2. We can pray for them; beg God to watch over them.
3. We can reach inside ourselves and find faith to help others. You are allowed to cry, to be angry, to worry. You are allowed to listen to the news every minute and you are allowed to say you don't want to know anything and we should call you when it is over. You are allowed to be angry, worried, calm. You can be strong if you want or not. What I did was take on one more mitzvah - I tried to make sure I davened more each day than normal. Whatever minimum I usually did was increased to more. That worked for me...whatever works for you.
4. If you have someone in there fighting...when he calls, show him your love (you knew to do that anyway) and if at all possible, not your tears and fears. Let him call each time feeling you are strong - you can break down and cry after the call, I think I did almost every time. But when you hear his voice, ask how he is doing (but not where he is); ask silly question - does he have enough to eat (he does, don't worry, he does); ask if it's cold at night (Elie fought in December and it was very cold...it's July, it will probably be either hot or wonderfully comforting). Let him talk and tell you what he can and if he asks, you are all fine and worrying about him. What a ridiculous word "worry" is - it is nothing to the terror you are feeling, but don't let him know that now. If you have a soldier in this - for his sake, for those few minutes on the phone, find the strength to be there for him. And if he doesn't call, try not to imagine reasons why not. He'll call when he can. It isn't a sign that something has happened. He'll call when he can. (Hat tip to an amazing soldiers' mother...many soldiers and her wisdom shines through - thanks Ruti!)
And a final word - the reason our sons are strong today...is because we are strong. We have survived Amalek and Hitler and Haman...Hamas and Gaza are a joke compared to them. We are the nation and the people of Israel...and yes, Gaza is finally hearing us roar! The Lions of Judea fight now with the love and the protection of the God of Israel. I have only pity for Hamas and Islamic Jihad today...