It’s been a challenge to find the time to publish my writing.
Sharing a few thoughts on this momentous day that brought the news that 14 more of our stolen were released today.

Seeing the handfuls of hostages released and the joy of their families is inspiring. 

Avigail Idan is among them. She turned four years old while in captivity. Both of her parents were murdered on Oct. 7th in Kfar Aza. Her six and nine-year-old siblings hid in a closet for 14 hours “until the good people” came to rescue them. 

I remember these faces – their names – their stories. Some of our lost – now found.
I have prayed for their safety, their health, their wellness of being.
I – along with a nation of hopefuls – have pushed away dark, worried thoughts over them again and again.

It’s so wonderful to have some of our stolen returned home. 

Also, it’s really complicated.
Amid deep concerns about all that these innocents have endured over the last 50 days in captivity – having them back is a good thing.
(Originally, I wrote “having them home” – but many of them do not have a home to return to.
Certainly not the home they once knew). 

We agreed to release three convicted terrorists per our one hostages.
Each terrorist was imprisoned for attempted or actual murder against our people…
Why this is part of the agreement, I cannot answer.

What will this ceasefire we agreed to mean for our continued efforts to destroy Hamas…I do not know. 

In the words of Douglas Murray, “It isn’t the worst deal Israel has done to get its captives home. But still.”

But still… it is good and wonderful to have some of our own back home.

Among them is the mother of an acquaintance of Shahar’s; an 85-year-old grandmother named Yafa Adar. The stoic woman we all watched get crated away by armed terrorists on a golf cart. 

There is a sense of short sighs of relief. A “Thank Gd, at least they’re back,” kind of sentiment – quickly tempered by the cold realities that pool like shadows around this impossibly tragic and ongoing nightmare.

It’s so, so good to have these brave ones home. 

Still, so many others left behind – their fates still unknown.

It’s emotional. It’s heavy. It’s so loaded. It’s hard to sort out exactly what I’m feeling.

It’s a cautious joy – a bitter and blessed gift of reprise – of blood-stained hope – mixed with still fresh memories of the horrors endured.

My body registers these feelings as constant, low-grade nausea. That’s the current mood. Mine at least. I am sure there are others that have a different, more upbeat perspective. I hope there are – Gd willing we will get there.

First though… we must heal.

First, we must heal.