Simchat Torah War Day 9

15 October 2023
Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan

Everyone here in Israel is just waiting for all hell to break loose. The troops and tanks are amassed at the border. I think the invasion of Gaza may have been delayed a day because of weather – it’s cloudy with some rain, which would interfere with the ability of the air force to provide air support.

I’m not sure what to call this war. I don’t actually want to call it the Simchat Torah war. It’s a happy holiday, no need to forever associate it with a war. The official name “Operation Iron Swords” is certainly not going to stick. I suppose it will just be the Gaza War of 2023 or something boring like that.

All of the friends and family who came to Israel for the wedding are either safely home or enjoying some down time in Europe. They’ll certainly have some stories, even if they didn’t get to see all the sights!

On my run this morning I was disgusted to see graffiti sprayed on a construction wall not far from here that said (in Hebrew) “Death to Arabs.” Not all Arabs are our enemy. Not all Palestinians are our enemy. Death to Hamas I would be fine with. I pray the IDF successfully manages to dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.

Our “Rabbis and Comics” group met this morning. It’s nice to have something that brings a little semblance of normalcy, along with an opportunity to check in with friends. The Torah portion this week is Noah, and we kind of skipped over the part about destroying the world and everyone in it.

No one here is really OK at the moment. We may be physically safe, but we’re emotionally shattered.

Barry Leff

Rabbi Barry (Baruch) Leff is a dual Israeli-American business executive, teacher, speaker and writer who divides his time between Israel and the US.

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