Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Letters From Israel

November 2, 2011

ANOTHER ROUND OF WAR by Rachel Saperstein, Neve Dekalim/Nitzan

Over forty rockets have fallen in the south this past weekend. The shooting began Wednesday and intensified on Friday night, a favorite time for Arabs as they know it will destroy our Shabbat rest. The sirens wailed and the loudest, closest explosions were heard at 11:20pm. Our sleep was over.

Late Shabbat afternoon the children of Nitzan began their annual month-long organization festival for the Bnei Akiva youth movement. They marched through the neighborhood banging plastic bottles while singing Israeli folk songs. The sirens sounded. Joyous voices turned into shrieks as the youngsters ran into the sewervilla safety zone near our home. There was no room left for me or the neighbors. The children, at least, were protected.

After Shabbat the television was filled with the scenes of devastation across the entire southern region of Israel. Houses and cars were burning in Ashdod, homes were shattered in Ashkelon. The new Grad missiles are packed with explosives. Their range and destructive power is frightening. Israel is warned not to retaliate, lest the fighting escalate.

Sunday morning, 6am, no siren accompanies the deafening explosion nearby. I jump out of bed and run to the front door. Do I head for the sewer pipe? Are there more missiles falling close by? I'm shaking. I turn on the radio. No mention of our explosion. An hour later we learn the 'iron dome' defense system had hit an incoming missile directly over us.

Two of our grandchildren had planned on spending next Shabbat with us. We were looking forward to the visit. When we spoke to their parents, our children, we agreed to delay the visit until the fighting "calmed down".

Unlike the children in large towns and cities who stay at home as schools are closed, the children of Nitzan have returned to school. No mayor will take the responsibility of opening schools as long as missiles are flying. One hit on a classroom…

I take a walk with Moshe this morning. I need some sunlight. We have been cooped up long enough. The sight of refuse, weeds, discarded furniture and deserted caravillas turns my stomach. Families have moved up the hill to Nitzan B into their new homes. We who are left behind feel frustration, desolation. Some, like us, are in waiting mode. Some will never build.

Moshe returned from morning prayers, greatly agitated. "I watched a missile flying over Nitzan minutes ago. It seemed to burn out just overhead." There had been no siren. After all, there is a cease fire brokered by Egypt between Israel and Hamas. It was later announced the missile was fired by us. Moshe's reaction: "Their [expletive deleted] missile. Our [expletive deleted] missile. Who cares…"

OPERATION DIGNITY is in dire need of financial aid. Our people are once again living under missile fire. We are asking – no, begging – our friends to help us get our people through these terrible times. I can't just walk away when requests for help pour in. Help us help the people you love.


To help the people of Gush Katif still in the refugee camps, Shekel or US$ checks under $250 should be sent directly to Operation Dignity, POB 445, Nitzan 79287, Israel.

Dollar checks of $250 or more, earmarked for Operation Dignity, should be sent to
Central Fund for Israel, 13 Hagoel Street, Efrat 90435, Israel
Central Fund for Israel, 980 Sixth Avenue, New York, NY 10018, USA

See our website – www.operation – for further details.

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