Nov 19, 2012  By Ariel Kotler  Category: Travel,

Update from Israel - Sixth day of war

Dear friends,

I hope you are all well. 

As day 6 of this war comes to a close.... We pray that it closes like the 6 day war. 
Today began as a wonderful and inspiring day with 1500 children at the Modiin park. We had moon walks and pedal boats, art stations, shows, music, dancing etc..etc...  It almost felt normal again and Ranit and I decided to go back home. We drove home to Yad Binyamin. It felt great to be back home. Ranit took our 18 month old son Eitan up to bed, and I ran to my neighbor's mother's funeral. I drove about 5 blocks away when I heard the loud sirens go off. Instinctively I pulled over, got out of the car and laid down on the street. I then got up and ran into an open building about 50 yards away. There is just no way I will ever be able to explain in an email the feelings in those moments. My phone rang and it was Ranit checking to see if I'm ok. Ranit had grabbed Eitan from his crib. Unfortunately Chaim and Ayelet know very well to run to the bomb shelter on their own. 

All shooken up, I drove about 20 minutes to Kibutz Nir Galim outside of the city of Ashdod. Hadassa Pastal, my neighbor's mom was a holocaust survivor who was of the founding generation of the State of Israel. As we stood outside to hear the eulogies, the siren went off again. There were at least 200 people there and a bomb shelter that can only hold 30 people max. I stayed outside as close to the bomb shelter as possible and waited to hear the explosions. Again, I cannot explain those moments in an email. 

After the funeral as I was driving home I called Ranit and asked to go back to Jerusalem. It was a difficult decision. All we really wanted is to sleep in our own beds and be in our home. For some reason the municipality has decided to open the schools tomorrow. I'm sure that they are trying to convey a message of business as usual, yet I'm not sure why tomorrow will be any different then the last 6 days. The schools sent out a notice that there will be an IDF soldier in every class room and that they will practice running into the bomb shelter. I can't even begin to tell you how much comfort that gives me!!
So as you go to bed tonight wherever you may be, please take a couple of moments to appreciate your freedom. Please try to feel the pain... And then turn it into action. Thank you for everything you do. Thank you to so many of you who forward these messages to your lists. Thank you for calling us in support. Sometimes your pen can be so much more powerful then the rockets. Especially when you use it to write a check for Israel that allows us to continue and prevail. 

One closing note- Ranit has already had many cancelations as far as people coming to Israel. Please commit to coming to Israel soon. Definitely in 2013. 

We love you and can't wait to see you in our homeland. 

Ranit and Ariel Kotler
Development Officer
Israel Operations