Long-time Kveller contributor Sarah Tuttle-Singer shared these snippets from her life over the past four days as a mother living in Israel during the Hamas attack.
The sirens come one after the other — I’ve lost count already and my coffee is cold. Just across the road from our home, a salvo of fireworks and gunfire, too. A truck rumbles by, and cars beep their horns. A young shepherd herds his sheep down the hill toward the desert in silence. Our neighbor’s son just got his orders to show up for military duty. He can’t say where he’s going. The blue Jerusalem morning trembles and the birds don’t know which way to fly.
My son’s friend’s sister is missing.
She was last seen near Netivot — and the last known contact with her was just after 7 a.m.
I hope we will have good news, soon.
We are safe right now.
But we are not OK.
I don’t understand. How can anyone see the carnage Hamas themselves are posting on social media and support them?
What kind of people celebrate when babies are ripped from their parents’ arms, and women are raped next to the corpses of their friends, and old women are butchered on a Facebook live stream?
Where is your moral compass?
Friends outside of Israel, please: See this. See us. And say something.
My friend Omar is originally from Gaza, and he sent me this message which I am sharing with his permission.
“I realise that my words change nothing and mean very little, but I am so sorry for what my people are doing to yours.”
His words pierce the darkness with light — they do more than he can imagine.
My son calls me from his dad’s house.
They found his friend’s sister’s body in southern Israel. She was murdered by Hamas sometime Saturday morning.
Her name was Shiraz.
(Saying “was” in that sentence makes another piece of my tired heart shatter.)
I watched her grow up from a bubbly teenager to a vivacious young woman, ready to take on life with a full embrace. Her mother is also one of the most radiant people I know — and one of the kindest. My heart breaks for them all, and I won’t lie to you: I am full of rage right now.
“What do you remember about her?” I ask my son.
“She was really nice,” he says. “She was funny and she drove me home sometimes when I would play at their house. I remember when she dropped me off, she never drove away until she could make sure I got into the house, and this one time, a car was blocking and she couldn’t see if I got in so she parked and followed me to the door.”
A moment passes.
“Mom, are you crying?”
Monday night, later:
My friend Rabbi Michael A. Davis writes on his Facebook page: We need to remember this isn’t just 900 people murdered. It’s one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and one and…
And there is nowhere else I’d rather be.