As told to Batsheva Moskowitz
We woke to the sound of sirens at 6:30 am on Shabbat/Simchat Torah morning in Herzliya. In shul, everyone was talking about the sirens, but it wasn’t until people started being called up for miluim (reserve duty) that we knew something was up. Only after Shabbat did we realize the extent of what was going on and how serious it really was.
I said goodbye to my friends who were being called up, not knowing when I would see them again. I still don’t know. I might see them, b’ezrat Hashem, at the end of the week or I might not see them for three months. I really have no idea.
While our friends are fighting to defend our country, we are busy sending carloads of supplies every day to bases all around the North and South of Israel to make sure they have what they need.
Rabbi Noam and Shiffy Friedman, the rabbinic JLIC Mizrachi couple here in Herzliya, have done an unbelievable job assembling group chats and committees to work on different initiatives, from cooking food to going to stores around the country in search of very specific gear for soldiers—such as certain types of flashlights and headgear that they require. Everyone is pitching in. Some people are buying supplies, others are organizing them. Still others drive to the bases to deliver the supplies to the soldiers.
Young olim, between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, from North America, England, France and other parts of the world are dedicating their time, some working around the clock. At the same time, we are trying to uplift each other by helping out as well as by sending our support to the chayalim.
Passion is what gets you here, but it’s the love of where you are that keeps you here—loving the people in Israel and realizing that you’re a part of something that is much bigger than yourself.
Jordan Landes, originally from Boca Raton, Florida, has been living in Israel since completing his gap year.
Batsheva Moskowitz is an associate editor at Jewish Action.