It’s been a while since I’ve written.
I paused because I needed to spend more time living than I was trying to understand and explain what it’s like to be alive.
Also, to be honest, I haven’t had all that much to say.

I mean, what can I tell you that you don’t already know?

If you’re reading this, you’re well aware of the impossible, throbbing mess we’re living through as Israelis in this land and as Jews in this world.
It’s still dark out there.

Most of our 150,000 plus evacuees from the south and north are still displaced and cannot yet return home.
We still lack proof of life (or death) about our abducted fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and yes, our babies.
See that baby in the photo above? That’s Kfir. He was abducted at gun point by Hamas terrorists on Oct 7 along with his mother, Shiri and his four-year-old brother, Ariel. His father, Yarden, was beaten and abducted as well.
We’re 150 days in and we still don’t know if any of them are alive or dead.

It’s more horror than a heart can hold.
Yet, that’s what these families are doing every minute of every day.
Bearing the full weight of bottomless pain.
Gd, give them strength.
And change this reality already.
It’s enough.

I say psalm 126 for the safe return of our stolen and I try to believe it in the inner most parts of myself.

A song of ascents.
When the Lord returns the captives to Zion, we will be like dreamers.
Then our mouths will be filled with laughter and our tongues with songs of praise; then they will say among the nations, “The Lord has done great things with these.”
“The Lord has done great things with us; we were happy.”

Return, O Lord, our captivity like springs in the desert.
Those who sow with tears will reap with song.
He will go along weeping, carrying the valuable seeds; he will come back with song, carrying his sheaves.

That psalm usually gives me a little lift.
Something to visualize, some hope to hold.

What can I tell you?

It feels excessive to think about how much we’ve lost, and how much it all hurts.
It feels irresponsible to go too long without thinking about it at all.
It’s a constant teeter totter between the cold, hard, impossible macro-realities and the regular micro-life stuff like car repairs and meal prep.
We’ve all learned to surf and stumble between worlds in new ways.

What can I tell you that you don’t already know?

Last week I ran a community event for emergency preparedness.
It was a good event with a decent turnout.
Our head of security gave a high-level orientation of the most likely threats for our community. He shared an overview of the protocols we have in place and some common sense tips – all delivered in a down-to-earth tone with his signature sense of humor.

The security brief was followed by a first-aid workshop given by a local combat paramedic. He covered trauma response basics with a focus on assessment, personal safety, how to deal with shock, and how stop a bleed.
All the participants received a CAT tourniquet as a gift.
Redefining “goodie-bags.”
To those of you who sponsored these gifts, please know they were so well received, thank you so much.

Interestingly, the day after the workshop, 60 rockets were fired into the Golan Heights from Lebanon. Thank Gd, no one was seriously injured.
It was loud. A little intense for my friends who happened to be outside with their kids when it started. More intense for the people traveling on the roads while they landed nearby.
But, we just moved through it and continued on with our lives.
As you do.
While the rockets are no joke, the fact of the matter is that they did little harm, therefore marking their presence in history a small blip in the phase of “calm before the (next) storm.”

It’s hard to know what it will be like when the war shifts in earnest to our northern front.
All we can do is hope for the best and be as prepared as we can be for the worst.

No one gets too flippy or anxious around here about security stuff.
There’s a prevalent “take it in stride” attitude that comes with a hearty helping of “showing up to life.”
All in all, this experience is marked by a sharper sense of presence.
And a greater understanding about the things we are and are not willing to make time for.
The realties of war make a decent case for getting your priorities straight.

What can I tell you that you don’t already know?

Through it all,
me, us, and our little inner circle is okay, thank Gd.
We’re healthy and well.
The house is warm.
There’s dinner on the table.
Food in the fridge.
Gas in the tank.
Plenty of love, hope, and good vibes to share.

Love to you all.