Discover more from Israel from the Inside with Daniel Gordis
"God and I aren't ready to talk yet"
The two-fold tragedy of a soldier's unnecessary death. And for a taste of sanctity on the eve of Shabbat, profiles of the soldiers tasked with identifying the nearly unidentifiable dead.
This is not going to be a quick war. Yes, everyone knows that the international clock is ticking down, but officially, at least, the army isn’t making mention of that. There’s a terror organization to destroy. Period.
But because this could be a long slot (some military commentators are saying it could easily go a year), you hear the shift in tone. Israelis are girding themselves for a marathon, not a sprint.
Yesterday, when I went to the funeral of Rose Lubin, z’l, the soldier who was killed by a 16 year old Palestinian attacker on Monday, everyone who came was given the sticker above. It’s loosely based on a comment by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, the Chief Rabbi of Mandatory Palestine. The wording of the sticker means:
The eternal people is not afraid of a long road
My sense is that it’s not true that we’re not afraid. We are afraid. But we are also determined to push through our fear, because we know we have no other choice if we wish this place to survive.
Speaking of that funeral, Rose Lubin was a lone soldier, a 20 year old young woman who made aliyah on her own two years ago and joined the MaGaV (Border Police). As I’ve written about in prior posts, this phenomenon of people showing up to a funeral for someone they’d never heard of two days earlier still amazes and inspires me. Here’s the small fraction of the crowd that I was able to video from where I was standing:
As you can see at the very end of the video, there were people standing up a level, where I happened to be. There were as many people up top as there were down below.
As if her death wasn’t tragic enough, shortly after the funeral, the army made an announcement:
I’ve heard people say he should go to jail, while others insist that the punishment of having to carry this guilt with him for the rest of his life is punishment enough. There’s no end to the tragedy: in very different ways, both of their lives ended on Monday.
Israelis are facing an unfolding crisis, but also an important opportunity to rebuild. If you would like to share our conversation about what they are feeling and what is happening that the English press can’t cover, please subscribe today.
Before ending the week with what I thought was a very moving video, three links for which people have been asking:
The IDF Spokesperson’s Division has started its own Substack, and is asking those of us who can to share it. It’s here:
The IDF Spokesperson’s Division also has a podcast, which is here:
Some people have asked for the link for signing up to do volunteering on farms. There are a few websites, but this is by far the biggest. Yes, it’s in Hebrew (though Google might be able to translate … I haven’t tried) and it might require an Israeli ID number .. not sure. But that’s the link.
Finally, several people have asked for the URL to the video directed as Muslims, arguing that the horrors of October 7 are an absolute violation of Islam’s principles. I can’t find it online, but have uploaded to YouTube and you can watch it or or share the link here.
NOW, ON TO SHABBAT
One of the neighborhood WhatsApp groups I’m on sent out this screenshot of Shas’ (the Mizrachi “Haredi” party) weekly listing of Shabbat starting and ending times. As is true of all of the dozens of lists distributed each week, it goes by city. The red circle is ירושלים, Jerusalem. The green circle is תל אביב, Tel Aviv.
And the yellow circle? עזה? That’s Gaza.
Believe me, Gaza has never been on these lists before, at least since the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza (that is looking like a pretty bad decision in retrospect, but that’s for another time). But this Shabbat, there will be hundreds, perhaps thousands of Jewish young people making Shabbat in Gaza. They too need to know the times. And note the “image” Shas chose to put in background.
The things you never expected to see …
The following video was released by Kan Television with the English subtitles. It’s making its way around social media here, too.
It’s a beautifully done profile of some of the soldiers (doctors, rabbis, psychologists) tasked with identifying the nearly unidentifiable dead. Thirty five days into the war, not all of the 1400 bodies have yet been identified.
There is a holiness and devotion that emerges from this video, from a slice of Israeli life most of us know nothing about.
That holiness, the sense of sacred purpose, are a perfect way of entering Shabbat.
As explained above, Shalem College is making use of its financial infrastructure to help the Hamal (which we covered in a previous post) collect funds, and to get 100% of the funds to the Hamal immediately. To support the Hamal, use the link immediately below. There is a place on the web page to note that you want your contribution to be directed to the war effort.
If you’re just joining us, Israel from the Inside typically posts a written column on Mondays and a podcast on Wednesdays. That is obviously irrelevant for the time being.
We’ve delayed all the podcasts that were ready to go, because the people whose stories they tell deserve to tell them when we all have the bandwidth to hear. Hopefully, that will return some day.
In the interim, we’ll post as possible. Here in Israel, there are non-stop funerals to go to, shiva homes to visit, grandchildren to help care for while sons and daughters are in the army, so we’ll see.
Schedules are the least of our worries.
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