the worry of mothers

I’m at a loss for words, so that’s why I thought I’d try writing. Here I am, trying to tie up loose ends and get ready for our trip to Israel next week. The biggest problem I have is (perpetually) what to pack. This time, since we’re going to be up in Tzfat (Safed, or however it’s spelled) for a bit, I was thinking of whether to pack this flat vase that someone gave us as a house gift once, but shouldn’t we just use an empty bottle once we get there? As if I ever need an excuse to drink a bottle of wine…

Trying to find humor, but not really succeeding.

Eleven hours ago, my Israeli daughter sent an email and a Whatsapp about two missing 16 year-olds who were on their way home from their week in high school and weren’t heard from. She sent their Hebrew names and said we should pray for them.

Two hours later, she sent another email saying that they had been found and their kidnappers had been caught. Thank G-d!!!

An hour after that, and after she had told her kids they were fine, she found out that the previous message had been a hoax.

How horrible! No one has any idea how that came about. Now it was revealed that there were actually 3 kids, and they were still missing since not returning home Thursday night. But even though we had the names, we were told not to reveal them and it was being kept quiet.

Then, the news sources broke the story. Then Facebook, Twitter, more organizations’ emails, etc.

Here’s what the Orthodox Union sent:

Orthodox Union Orthodox Union

Dear Friend,

Three yeshiva students from Kfar Etzion are missing and believed to be kidnapped. A massive IDF operation is currently underway. We pray for the students’ safe and quick return.

Please recite Tehillim for: 

Yaacov Naftali ben Rachel Devora
Gilad Michoel ben Batgalim
Ayal ben Iris Teshua

View article

If we have not received good news by later today, please take a moment when lighting Shabbos candles to think about them and recite Tehillim chapter #121.

The names that are listed are only the first names, with the addition of their mothers’ names. When we want to brag about lineage, we use the father’s names. When someone is in bad health or in trouble, we call upon the mothers to help us.

My daughter has told me that I know one of the mothers. My heart is breaking for her and the other mothers. I don’t want to imagine what they are going through.

The latest from Times of Israel that I have read about the situation now, having been stuck to my news feeds all day, is that “Defense official on missing teenagers: Working assumption is this is a hostage situation”.  Just now there is an article on Yahoo News. The comments are appallingly thoughtless.

Just an aside, from my experience being in that area–everyone hitchhikes; students; mothers, old men. You usually wait to see what kind of car pulls up and you wait for them to tell you where they are going, and then you get in the car. I’m going to assume that they did that, but the kidnappers stole an Israeli car (there are reports of a burnt car with Israeli plates), pretended to be Jewish, and picked up the kids.

From the Times of Israel article:

No Palestinian organization has yet claimed responsibility. A senior Islamic Jihad official on Friday called on Palestinians to kidnap Israeli citizens, arguing that Israel had proven in the past that it was willing to negotiate the release of Palestinian security prisoners in exchange for the lives of its civilians.

Palestinian Islamists have repeatedly called to kidnap Israelis, including to use them as bargaining chips to extract the release of Palestinian security prisoners.

And the world expects Israel to make peace with these people????

As Golda Meir, the mother, said:

Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.

I would add, when they love children more than they hate themselves.

May G-d protect them and keep them safe. Please pray for them and for all of us.

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