Hamas Threatened My Family
On October 7, 2023, Hamas launched the worst attack on Israel in the history of the modern state. It was the longest 48 hours of my life.
One of my children was attending school in Israel for a year before returning for college in the U.S.
Because it was the Jewish Sabbath and also a major holiday on the Jewish calendar, my child’s phone was off when the Hamas attack took place; I had to wait two days to learn my kid was safe. Many Jews who celebrate the Sabbath and holidays turn off electronics to focus on more spiritual things. Friends. Family. Words of wisdom. All without normal weekday distractions.
Finally we spoke after the end of the holiday. Thankfully, my child was safe and unharmed.
Calmly, bravely, my kid told me how they had to go into bomb shelters twice, and how they heard fighter jets over the house where they were staying.
It was all I could do not to become hysterical.
As one rabbi wrote, “To write anything about this right now is extremely difficult. To write nothing is impossible.”
When news hit that the terrorist group Hamas, which is funded by Iran, had infiltrated Israel, I knew this time was different.
Fox and CNN initially were reporting hundreds dead, but my contacts on the ground told me a different story. Over 250 Jewish and Arab kids shot and killed at a concert. Elderly and toddlers shot in front of their families. People shot in their cars. And at bus stops. Scores of women raped next to dead bodies. Hundreds kidnapped. Bodies of Jewish civilians dragged through the streets of Gaza City to cheers. Scores of babies slaughtered and beheaded. A pregnant woman’s baby cut out of her womb.
Hamas had murdered Jews in 22 Israeli cities.
All in all, at least 1,200 Israelis slaughtered in a single day, although I’m told the real numbers may be far worse. Given Israel’s small size, 1,200 dead would be like 50,000 Americans being killed in one day.
This was Israel’s 9–11 and Pearl Harbor combined.