Jewish mum, D’vora M.B writes about her experience of living in a warzone with her young children, and how it is reminiscent of her childhood, sheltering from bombs during the Gulf War.
On Saturday, 7 October 2023, at 6:30 am, the sirens started, my husband and I jumped out of our beds and rushed to the kid’s room to grab our children to take them to a bomb shelter. I looked at my husband and asked him, “Where are the rockets coming from? Are they coming from the South or North?” At that moment we didn’t know, but something was indeed wrong. Nothing could have prepared us for the horrors of that day.
The horrific events of October 7 changed the face of Israel. In Israeli society, this date will forever be remembered. On this date, Hamas launched a vicious and cruel surprise attack on the State of Israel and its residents. It was the most murderous terror incident driven by the hatred of Jews since the Holocaust.
Most of the victims were Jewish, but there were also Muslims and Christians killed, for the only reason that they were Israeli or lived in Israel.
With unfathomable cruelty and in cold blood, the terrorists of Hamas murdered, maimed, and kidnapped the elderly, children, babies, young girls and boys, men and women. Around 1,200 Israelis were murdered and around 240 were kidnapped. Most of the victims were Jewish, but there were also Muslims and Christians killed, for the only reason that they were Israeli or lived in Israel.
Being born and raised in Israel, I have lived through wars and conflicts since I was 2.5 years old.
Since that day we have been at war, the War of Iron Swords. It is a war like no other I have ever experienced. Being born and raised in Israel, I have lived through wars and conflicts since I was 2.5 years old.
The first war I experienced was the Gulf War in 1990, I remember being so afraid and putting on a gasmask. During the air raids, I remember my mother singing worship songs, knowing that no matter the circumstance we could trust in God, for He is our hiding place, refuge and strength.
Our nation and people are heartbroken and traumatized.
Now I am in my late 30s and a mother myself, again in a war. The level of fear, pain and brokenness in the atmosphere is something I have never encountered before. Every family in Israel has been affected by what has happened. Our nation and people are heartbroken and traumatised.
Read more on the Israel / Palestine conflict
In war, you try and redefine what is ‘normal’ in a abnormal situation. You constantly have the war in your mind while doing your daily routine. “Where will I run when there is a siren while I’m out?” “Will I be able to get both of my young children into safety before the rocket hits”? “If I take a shower, will I hear the siren?” “Can my little girl go and play at the park while sirens are still being heard”? “What will I do if terrorists come to my home and try to murder my family and me”?
Another time you are in your car and you hear the siren, struggling to get your baby out of the car seat in seconds so you can run to a shelter in time. Then there are the times that you are not with your children and the sirens go off. At that moment you can only cry out to God that who ever is with your children, will get them to safety in time.
With all this fear in the atmosphere, I am praying to God that it will not control my family and me. Being a granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I never thought that we as Jewish people would have to witness a massacre, the like of which my grandparents did during WWII.
But I am holding on to God’s promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for the Lord my God is with me and my family’.
On October 7, when the roar of the first siren was heard, my little girl of four years asked that we sing worship songs to the Lord in the bomb shelter.
On October 7, when the roar of the first siren was heard, my little girl of four years asked that we sing worship songs to the Lord in the bomb shelter. Just like my mother did when I was a little girl.
We sang to the Lord “You are my hiding place; you always fill my heart with songs of deliverance whenever I am afraid, I will trust in you…”. Our family hasn’t stopped since, singing and praying this over our families, our people and nation. Please will you pray too?