Dear all,

It is now 7pm and the 16th day is almost over. Although the end is not yet in sight, the news has been better.
Sadly, there has been additional casualties among the soldiers, but the numbers have diminished. The response of the Israeli public has been overwhelming. They show on television how hundreds of citizens have been going to the hospitals in order to visit the wounded. Being Israeli, they don’t come empty handed. They bring so much food with them that there isn’t any place left in the hospitals.

Spontaneous volunteers have popped up throughout the country calling the army in order to find out what items they are in need of. They then raise the funds and buy the medical equipment, or other required goods and send them to the military.

In my last update I wrote about the Israeli soldier who was killed and had no family in Israel. The army and media made a plea to the public asking that they come to the funeral and show the respect due to a soldier who made Aliya alone without family. 20,000 Israelis showed up from all over the country. The next day in Ashkelon there was a similar story of a soldier who made Aliyah from France. Because of the incessant missile barrages only 8000 attended. Today it happened again in Jerusalem and over 30000 came. It is amazing. What people in the world would react this same way. So sad, so tragic, yet also an eye-opener for us to see what it means to be a Jew, inculcated with our ethics and moral standards.

Missiles are still being fired from Gaza to all parts of the country. Yesterday in Rehovot we had about 5 sirens. Today we had one this afternoon. My grandkids were with us for the past two days and I bought a swimming pool for them to play in. It is too uncertain to take them to a real pool. My youngest granddaughter, 4 1/2, asked me why I don’t have the special beeper that warns of an attack, “tzeva Adom”. Where she lives, near Gaza, that is what they have. I explained to her that in Rehovot we have sirens. She said she would try to help me and look for a spare one at her home. Can you imagine……this is what a child thinks about.

They went home today, there are a lot of activities for the children in the Moshav. Of course, only in shelters, safe rooms or places with special reinforced concrete roofs. All the nursery and primary schools have special roofs over their buildings. All the bus stops on the moshav have portable safe rooms next to them.

The TV is constantly showing public notices explaining what to do when there is a siren. Today they are stressing that the door to the safe room must be closed and locked upon entering. One has to wait 10 minutes so that missile shards that fall will not injure you.

The Ben Gurion Airport is like a ghost town. Many of the airlines have cancelled flights. Thank G-d for El Al. Otherwise we would be cut off from the world. As it is thousands of Israelis are stranded throughout the world trying to get flights to come home.

Surprisingly, the world press has been less positive on Hamas, not more pro-Israel heaven forbid. They are finally saying that Hamas is using their population as human shields and aren’t respecting human rights. Even the Secretary of the UN condemned Hamas. UNRA admitted finding missiles in large quantities in two of their schools in Gaza. Nu Nu Nu.
Bad Hamas.

The TV just reported that three more soldiers died today, Z”L.

It is so difficult to bear. During the day they broadcast the funerals of the soldiers who died the previous day. In the afternoon they show the wounded being treated in the hospitals, and then in the evening they state the number of additional casualties for the day. A terrible cycle.

But just as they say continuously on TV, we are a strong people and Am Yisrael will overcome this difficult time as well.



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