empty Slice of Life

Modern-Day Miracles

Lots going on. Work. Wedding plans. Pesach prep. Gaza. Lebanon. Iran. If not for my running...

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This week, I attended a seminar sponsored by Alei Siach, a not-for-profit organization where I work, which meets the needs of disabled people in the chareidi-dati society in accordance with halachah. The highlight of the seminar for me was a speech given by Tzvika Mor, an educator, life coach, and father of eight, including his son Eitan, currently being held captive in Gaza.

Sometimes you need a break, especially during a war. But it is impossible to escape a war, even during a ceasefire. It follows you wherever you go, from the moment you open your eyes in the morning until long after you close them at night. Try as you may, there’s nowhere to hide. But doing something that is not war-related or work-related can help a bit. You can take a mental health day in its truest sense. Having that goal in mind, my daughter and I headed to the Malcha Mall in Yerushalayim.

So many initiatives exist these days offering support to specific groups in Israel: art kits for wives of soldiers, food and homemade challahs for chayalim, and free plane tickets to Israel sponsored by Nefesh B’Nefesh for parents of combat soldiers who reside abroad. There’s also support for Anglo mothers of chayalim. As a mother of a combat soldier, I keep my ears open for the much-needed support targeting this group. I’ve attended three such events and have benefited in some way from each of them.

Once upon a time (after the late 1950s), Gaza was a tourist destination. People spent the day touring Khan Yunis, Deir al-Balah, Rafah, and Heletz. They would walk the streets of Gaza toward the beach, explore the boat factory, and dine in the Abuchatzera Restaurant. They would visit the ancient synagogue and see the mosaic of David HaMelech’s harp. Things have certainly changed since then.

In the weeks before the most recent Yom Tov, Reuven Lebetkin and Shirel Tayeb were in the final stages of planning the wedding of their dreams, scheduled for October 25. Their plans came to a screeching halt on October 7. As officers in the IDF reserves, both Reuven and Shirel were called up to serve. This created a dilemma regarding how to proceed with the wedding.

Here we are - five weeks into this challenging period in which we find ourselves.  I’m back at work, in person, full schedule. After a stretch of limited productivity, I’ve returned to preparing meals and doing laundry. I even started up my exercise regimen once again.