My Daughter Under Fire

My Daughter Under Fire

My 14-year-old daughter, Moriah, is a 9th grader at a wonderful ulpana, a boarding school for religious girls, in the south of Israel. Yesterday afternoon, on the way to attend a special event there for the mothers, I felt my shoulder muscles, which have been so clenched up over the last few weeks with the weight of life, happily release. Green fields, the smell of the sea, all my many must-do’s left far, far behind in Jerusalem.
At the ulpana, Moriah proudly showed me around her beloved new school, introduced me to so many new friends, and then took me to show me her newly renovated dorm.
“This is my room. But these are the rooms I spend most of my time in, with my other friends…And this is our 9th graders’ club room.” And pointing to the security handle on the heavy door, she said, “when there are rockets, it doubles as a bomb shelter.”
Both of us giggled a little. A bomb shelter? Here? In such a peaceful, happy place? It felt like somebody saying that her shul doubles as a shooting range.
And then, this morning, I woke up early to send my kids off to school. And at a little after 7 AM Moriah messaged me, “We are getting sent home.”
“Why?” I asked.
And that was how my day started. And how it has continued.
Moriah has messaged me 7 times since to tell me that a siren went off, leaving her and her classmates only 45 seconds to run to one of the school’s bomb shelters. Moriah and over a million other Israeli students didn’t have school today. This is the first time since the Gulf War in 1991 that school was even canceled in Tel Aviv.
Thank G-d, the IDF gave the ulpana permission to send the girls home about two hours ago. Before that, they said it was too dangerous for the girls to be on the roads.
And Moriah, B”H, half-way through writing this post, got home. To our relief, and hers.
And in the middle of this crazy morning, what do you think I did? How do you think I responded?
If I was as frum as I look, maybe I would have spent some time reading Tehillim. Praying for Moriah and all the millions of Israelis under fire at this moment.
But I’m not that frum (yet!)
So, instead, I looked around me and noticed for the umpteenth time that my bedroom is full of dust. Under my desk, all over my floor. And I thought I can’t get anything done with all this dust all over! And I went downstairs, and got a broom and began to sweep. And got this room in order, somewhat. And that felt remarkably good.
The world might be a scary place at the moment. But home is solid. Home is safe. And may it always be so, for our children and for us. And may it be (again, soon) for all the mothers and fathers and children running back and forth from their bomb shelters today. May no harm befall even one.


  1. AMEIN!
    My email friend, Nechumelle Jacobs just shared a beautiful Torah with me. The

  2. The numerical value of MIKDOSH is 444 & the numerical value of BAYIT is 412. Add LEV (heart) which equals 32 to BAYIT (house) and you get 444 =MIKDOSH

  3. Amen! May our people and all our soldiers be safe. I totally understand that impulse to get one thing in order when so much is out of order, out of our control.

  4. And that our home is our shelter, our sanctuary.

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