I don't know anyone who wants their children to become martyrs. But this war proves that what we are facing has nothing to do with politics, rather with basic safety. We won't let them threat our existence here.
I hereby declare a Shnitzel (chicken nuggets) Strike.
Every time he returns home from the army, Bar asks me to prepare my "special Mom chicken nuggets" (that's what he calls them)- Shnitzel – for him. It's his favorite dish. Freshly prepared, hot, sizzling, they find their way directly from the pan to his mouth. His friends enjoy them as well. Our home is theirs, and since during regular times I never know how many of them I will find sleeping somewhere in the house when I wake up on Shabbat, there are always enough nuggets for everyone.
These days, I am asked again and again "what I feel as a Mother of a soldier", a complicated reality leads to a complicated question – and complicated answer. First and foremost, my feelings are not limited to mothers. Every unexpected or unrecognized phone call, every knock on the door, is met with tremor by us all. On the other hand, we dare not disconnect. Anxiety level is high, but the support system of family and friends is truly helpful and cannot be overrated. These days are filled with warm and encouraging words, arriving also from people we haven't heard from in years, people who have touched our lives and then, naturally, drifted to other places. It's always heartwarming. if you do much or can do nothing else, do this: once a day, send a kind word to someone you love. It never bothers, it's always supportive and it means being a mensch – a human being.
As for the feelings themselves: we are dealing in the most straightforward way with our complex reality. I don't know even a single parent who wishes their child to become a martyr. We are aching with the families that have joined the single family none of us wants to belong to, the bereaved family, and the pain is enormous. We pray for the full recovery of our injured. The bottom line is, we want us all to be healthy, safe – and alive.
but from that exact same place we also know that this is the reason we have the IDF. WE won't let anyone threaten our existence here. we have no doubt in the importance of difficult, brave discussions, without which no solution will be reached, but we also understand that what the IDF is doing is crucial. The reality that has been exposed in this war shows that whatever side of the political map you're on isn't relevant, it's a matter of basic, everyday security. The huge amount of money that has been invested by Hamas in means of mass murder, destruction of human rights and evil prove that the situation we are facing is not a result of the blockade on Gaza or the poverty of the Palestinian people, and that it is relevant to us all, in every corner of Israel. Today, I received an article that expresses some of my thoughts and basically says the following:
The next time someone talks about the poverty in Gaza, they should know what the Gaza leadership did with the multi-millions it received: invested its entire thought, action, workforce and energy in developing ways to kill Israelis. If I could, I would show the citizens of Gaza how much these tunnels cost (and the rockets, and Grad bombs, and other explosives, all of which managed to make their way into the Gaza strip despite the "blockade"), and next to the picture of each tunnel I would place a picture of what could have been done and developed for the benefit of the people in Gaza with the same amount of money. You built a tunnel to murder the families in Kibbitz Nir-Am? You lost a huge amusement park for your kids. You built a tunnel to assassin the children of the village Holit? You missed out on a new modern hospital. You lost a developed transportation system. And industries. And tourism. And ways to make a decent living. And all of this in exchange for the Hamas' desire to kill us.
A desire we simply won't agree with.
So next to the natural anxiety for our soldiers lives, we understand that this war is necessary. We haven't chosen it and it isn't what we wanted for our children but we have full confidence in Bar and his friends to do whatever is needed successfully. We are very proud of them, and pray they all return home unharmed.
In the meantime, until he returns, there will be no chicken nuggets at home. I promise that when he comes back, I will prepare them again for him and his friends. I'll prepare a whole bunch, a mountain of nuggets, with apologies to vegans and chicken. Freshly made, hot and sizzling, straight from the pan, just as he likes them. Just let him come home. That's all I need.