Pictured above: Tamar Kedem Siman Tov; her husband, Yonatan (Johnny); her mother-in-law; two 6-year-old daughters, Shahar and Arbel; and son Omer, aged 4. The entire family was murdered by Hamas terrorists in their home at Kibbutz Nir Oz.

I’m used to feeling strong. Part of it is just how I’m wired. Part of it comes from living in Israel for the last 24 years. We’ve lived through several wars, two intifadas, terrorist attacks on buses, street corners, hikes, and restaurants. With all the heartbreak and pain we’ve known here, there has always been an underlying sense of security; a sense of strength pulsing beneath it all. 

That sense of security and strength was compromised four days ago. Since then, we all – each in their own way – have been working hard to get it back.

Personally, I feel a stronger sense of security building; within me and nationally. There’s more order and organization than there was in the three days prior. There’s a groundswell of power that’s starting to spread. It’s slow, and it’s cautious, and it can be fragile, but it’s there.

It’s the small jug of oil we Jews tend to pull out from out of nowhere when things get really dark. It’s woven into the fabric of our narrative as a people. 

That is not to say that it’s not still terribly hard and painful. It is. And will continue to be. These wounds run deep and wide… we will be changed as a people forever. 

The stories are starting to pour in. 

They are harrowing. Haunting. Horrifying.

A friend of my son’s (someone in our community, may Gd continue to protect him and all of our brave soldiers) just lost 17 of his comrades in battle. The details are gruesome. 

Virtually every one of our friends has a kid or spouse or brother in active duty of some kind. All of our borders are on high alert. 

The threat of more terror, more missiles, more pain lurks in plain sight.

So while we hope for the best, we prepare for the worst. 

Our bomb shelters are all stocked.

Chips and salsa.
Paper towels.
Peanut butter.

I’m really hoping we don’t have to use it. 

And if we do, I hope it would be because of rocket fire and not terrorist infiltration. Gd forbid. 

The things we find ourselves thinking through these days…

Today, we left the Golan to visit our daughter Eden, who is living in the Gilboa region, an hr and a half south/west of us. She’s good. Safe. Healthy. 


Seeing her and being able to hold her, and sit near her lifted me. Bless. May every mother be blessed to hold their own and feel their breath, their heat, their life in the immediate future. 

Sending love and prayers to all our brave fighters, volunteers, and everyday people holding down the home front from south to north. Sending love to their mamas and papas, aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers, friends; stay strong, stay safe. 

We love you. 


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Ezra Yachin, 95 year-old on reserve duty

Repost from Instagram: Ezra Yachin is 95 years old. He is the oldest reservist in the IDF and was called up for duty in order to motivate and tell the soldiers stories that in spite of the hardship he went through growing up in Jerusalem where he frequently experienced violence attacks from Arabs and witnessed atrocities, he and his friends managed to build a beautiful country. Am Yisrael Chai