War in Gaza: Report from the Home Front

Some bloggers thrive on war news. They excel at live blogging, or explaining Israel’s point of view to the world at large. Neither approach works for me, as I avoid political discussions and have no inside information. And since my town is not directly affected, I find it difficult to write about the home-front situation. But here is my contribution.

I found out about the operation Shabbat afternoon, from a neighbor whose son is an officer. He was in training exercises all day Friday, and was ordered to appear at the airport on Shabbat at 3PM. The family had to make arrangements for someone else to pick up the car after Shabbat. During lunch he took calls from his soldiers, who apologized profusely for calling on Shabbat. When his mother asked whether he’d be coming home this weekend, he said it wasn’t likely.

I’ve spoken to a couple of friends who are in the range of the rockets, including one who has been experiencing kassam rockets from Gaza over the years. Now, she hears our attacks in Gaza. She is relieved that action is being taken, but there is an additional emotional toll. “Hannah,” she said, “You have no idea what one of those explosions sounds like. Even when you know it’s your side, your heart just flips over.”

My son in yeshiva is also in rocket range, and has had to go into a shelter a couple of times. He’s pretty blase about the whole thing so I guess I will be too, at least on his behalf.

If you’d like to help, Treppenwitz provided a list of worthy medical organizations. In addition, I’ve been getting updates about the action in the south from Connections Israel. Here is one of the recent emails:

Operation Cast Lead, Israel’s response to almost eight years of unending rocket attacks in Sderot and its surrounding environs, is in full gear. We must remember what effect this situation has on residents of the south.

Chanukah vacation, which was spent predominantly indoors, has now moved into bomb shelters for the foreseeable future; shopping malls are forbidden to open; schools are closed indefinitely.

The sounding of the Code Red alert now screams through additional communities on a constant basis, followed by loud booms, smoke and fire.

Children and adults, who have tolerated this situation for so long are at their wits end. Being cooped up in small spaces drains everyone of their coping abilities and adds new levels of stress.

If your relative or friend were living under these circumstances, you certainly would spare no expense to get them some relief. Kol Yisrael Achim – we are all brothers. Help us give our brothers some respite from their living conditions.

Operation Take-a-Break is underway. We are sponsoring full day respite trips for the residents of the south. Bus loads of individuals will be given a “day off” to engage in relaxing, fun and age appropriate activities out of the line of fire. Each bus costs $500. In other words, for just $10 you can make a real difference in the life of an individual. Better yet, sponsor an entire bus and spare a community!

To donate visit Connections Israel, and subscribe to updates here.


  1. I feel much the same way as you do, not being in rocket range. I’m sure a lot of it for me is just disconnecting for the sake of getting on with daily life.
    One thing that does bring it home for me is when family friends get called up. Then I worry for them and their families.
    My parents called up frantic on Sunday and I was in the middle of wrangling the kids and was like “Yeah, they started a war yesterday”.
    It’s probably worse for them then for me.

  2. You said it better than I ever could. I just linked to your post.
    May the day soon come that we all know peace.

  3. my heart is in the east…

  4. I feel much as you and Abbi do. I get anxious when I listen to the news, but can’t help myself.
    This is my first war. Do I make a “shehecheyanu”?

  5. I am within rocket range, and believe me, it’s SCARY! The first rocket hit and the alarm didn’t go off… so all we heard was the BOOM. It landed about 700 meters from our house.
    Last night, there was another alarm and I had to take the kids into the shelter. They were sleeping and I was alone at home. No rocket fell – I suppose it passed us on its way to a town further north.
    Hope the war will be over soon – and hope they won’t stop it too early.

  6. Baila- here’s my solution: I don’t listen to the news. Really. I scan ynet every once in a while, but that’s it.
    Feel free to make a shehechyanu.
    This is my second war but possibly my third since I live in J-m during the second intifada. That was really scary for me- every time I heard a series of ambulances running down Rechov Herzog, I knew there had been a pigua, even before I turned on the news.

  7. Thank you for your news.

  8. Lion of Zion says

    “Israel’s response to almost eight years of unending rocket attacks in Sderot”
    wow. has it been that long?

  9. JGooders is also supporting Front Line communities during this time of conflict.
    We will add 10% to all contributions made to projects through JGooders, actively helping those on Israel’s front line, whether in Beersheva, Sderot, Ashkelon or other targeted cities.
    Click the link for a list of active projects:
    May your son and all of the soldiers and Southern residents be safe and protected,
    JGooders is a new online giving portal based in Israel, helping people give directly to Jewish and Israeli causes.

  10. mother in israel says

    Abbi, I also avoid the news.
    Robin, thanks for the link.
    Phyllis, we’re meeting in a few months, yes?
    Anima, I hope things have been quieter.
    Baila, we came just before the first Gulf War, when the enter of the country was the target. It was frightening and people were totally panicked. It seems every part of the country gets a chance.
    I-D, you’re welcome.
    LOZ, yes.
    Tamar, thanks for letting us know.

  11. mother in israel says

    Abbi: Another reason for not having a TV!

  12. Yah, i finally watched the news last night. Sure enough, when they showed video of kids in bomb shelters, I started bawling, just like I did in the Lebanon war (when I was also nursing a 7 month old!).
    Some things never change.