EHNTJC Congregational Connections in Israel

Items below were contributed to document the linkages that exist between EHNTJC congregants and their family and friends in Israel, to emphasize that we are all one Jewish nation.

The following note was shared by Dalya Horowitz, written by her friend Anat on August 6, 2014, during Operation Protective Edge:

Hello Dalya,

Thank you so much for all your emails. I'm sorry for the delay in my response.

Here, up north, everything is quite and hot (as the Israeli summer should be...) but the country is in a war situation. They call it an operation.  But this is a war. 2/3 of Israel is under the threat of rockets from Gaza. The Hamas use the population as a human shield. We
have the steel dome. It works amazing. That is what helps our population to keep calm and act like almost everything is usual.

Very complicated situation. the grief of the dead soldiers is all around us, but we  - the people of Israel - are doing everything to keep our normal life.  Fortunately Noam was not drafted, although he is
very angry about that. better angry than drafted.

The girls had a gymnastic training camp in Petach Tikva, so we stayed at my mother's house near Tel Aviv for 3 weeks. We had our share of alarms. That is not normal  to live like that under the threat of
rockets, but it was not so bad, compare to what was going on in the south.

Thank you for the updates from the US - it is very important for us to know how things look like in the US.  Send our best regards to Mike and your children and grand children.  Looking forward to the next
mail,

Anat and  Noam (and the kids)

 

The following note was shared by Marsha Brody, written by her daughter in late July, 2014, during Operation Protective Edge:

Hi Mom, 

It got a little taxing Friday night.   We spent part of our
evening in the stairwell.  Our building is old and does not have a bomb shelter.  Usually we have only 15 seconds warning and we could never make it to a nearby shelter that fast.   So it has become a ritual.  We meet our lovely neighbors, we chat through the sirens.  We hear the first explosion, then the second, then the third.  The siren stops.  Then another explosion.   We wait a few more minutes just in case there is falling shrapnel, and then return home.  
 

Our neighbors look almost apologetic.  They know we are new here and it is as if they are saying we are sorry you have to deal with this.   I see a young girl, 22 years old, and art student at the Royal Institute in London, home for the summer, watching Rena carefully, desperately concerned not about herself but that this woman who she met only the day before for the first time, this mother of children, is as comfortable as possible.   She doesn’t take her eyes off of her.  She has a sweet gentle face but a ferocity and determination that is driven by a very deep, primal instinct.   She had been a soldier.   She is a child but she knows the drill.  Just like our neighbor's 14 year old son who is matter of fact and patient.   Meanwhile,  Dolce, our beautiful devoted black lab sits quietly.  She is 12 years old now.  It is just another in a series of events that comprise her life.  There are people
around.  That is good and cause for a wag of the tail.   Despite her keen hearing, she doesn’t seem to even notice the siren or the booms.  She knows similar sounds, police cars, fire trucks rumbling in Manhattan.   It is just part of the life’s cacophony.  

I write this as I hear explosions in the distance and other explosions so near that you’d have to be made of steel not to be distracted.  So far, by a miracle of Jewish technology and an absolute will to protect lives, our “iron dome” system has kept thousands from
being maimed or killed by indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza,  and now from terrorists in Lebanon.   When you read about miracles in the bible, the sea parting for instance, we say wow, what a lucky natural
phenomena because miracles in any other sense are something that those of us who have lived the century of scientific rationalism and empiricism don’t really take much else to heart.  We look and say, “amazing, those people crossed the sea thousands of years ago.”  Today we would build a suspension bridge or ride a ferry.  They didn’t know how to do that.  I imagine a thousand years from now when someone makes
the film, “Apocrypha II, the Sequel,” they will see these clumsy little Israeli rockets struggling skyward to defeat time and gravity to stop this incoming torrent of thousands of missiles that have both time and
gravity on their side.  In any other epoch of human history, this would be recorded as a miracle. 

So I meet strangers on the street.  They hear my American accent when I speak Hebrew and immediately ask where I am from.  “New York,” I
answer.  And many will say, “why are you here in this, why didn’t you just stay there where everything is so great.”   I usually smile and try to shift to small talk, but for those who are genuinely interested, I tell them it isn’t as great as it seems.  Jews are despised.  It is an ancient tradition.   It isn’t as obvious or purposeful in the U.S. at the moment.   It is in France.   A Jew in Paris who is identified as such can easily expect to be beaten up or worse.  In Sweden a man who hung an Israeli flag this week was brutally beaten.   This isn’t just the hatred of Muslims.   That hatred however is front in center.  We are especially despised by a large segment of Muslims whose sacred writings say, unequivocally, that Jews especially are the infidels and must be killed, crushed, beheaded, gotten rid of like a scourge on earth.  The message is unambiguous.  The message is in the Koran and elaborated to the point of putrefaction in later sacred writings.  While we were
mourning the kidnapping and murder of our three boys, the citizens of Gaza had already renamed a prominent public square after the kidnappers with the enthusiasm we would have in name a square after Raoul Wallenberg.   As our Prime Minster put so aptly yesterday,  “We use our weapons to defend our children.  They use their children to defend their
weapons.” 

I think of those terrorists in Gaza, how vicious and unevolved they are as human beings.  But then again, they have taken the meaning of “working from home” to a new level.   The bedrooms are upstairs, the home office stocked with missiles, explosives,  bombs, knives and guns is downstairs. No fuss, no commute.

That truth can’t be more poignant when in response to Israel, the only military in the world to phone its enemy and tell them to get their children and women away from a target which is a storage depot for missiles, their response is to herd them like cattle to the roof of
that building so that their tragic deaths can be used for propaganda purposes.

 

The following was shared by Mike Horowitz, written by his cousin Shmuel from Ashdod, on July 28, 2014: 

Hi Mike;

Since the afternoon of July 15 we are at our son's place near Nazareth.  He has sometimes erratic work hours and wanted us to stay there to be near our grandson (and also to give us a compelling reason
to leave Ashdod).

Our granddaughters returned from their sojourns and our other son was here for 20 hours and returned to his IDF duty.  We are waiting to go back to Ashdod when the situation  gets quiete.

Ashdod has been one of the targets of the Hamas rockets but, so far, they have not succeded in making any appreciably hit besides cars being burned when in line trying to fill gas at a station.  The drivers were in a shelter , an invalid was hurt. Most of the rockets fell in
open spaces and/or were hit by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. The main problem is to be near a protecting place when the alarm sounds, in Ashdod it takes ~45 seconds to look for it. In our place the staircase is the safest one (after going down 2-3 floors, we live next to the roof in the 8th floor) and usually you meet the neighbours  for 2- 3 mnutes and what could be a socially routine commenting about rumours or the
latest gossips; the meeting end after hearing some far away boom echo or (happened) a near trepidating and trembling noise. There is a shelter in the building's ground floor but in spite of being open no one uses it
(besides, maybe, transients surprised by the alert).

In the north, it's another world, no alarms, the silence is disturbed a few times every day by the loudspeakers of an arab village some kilometers away blaring their calls and prayers. The children, now in school vacation, spend time playing their computers games, swimming
in the pool or with their friends, sometimes they stay to sleep in the friends place.

We hope to go back to the daily routine soon.

Regards, Shmuel