June 30, 2016


The world has gone mad. Completely mad. Hidden evil lurks in many corners of our world these days. We go about our lives as if all is normal because we have no choice.

We have children whom we love and we try our best to protect them. But what happens when a 13-year-old girl is stabbed to death in her own bed? And what if the murderer, who brutally stabbed this innocent child multiple times, is 17 years old?

Netanyahu wrote the following on his Facebook page today:

“You don’t murder a sleeping child for peace. You don’t slit a little girl’s throat to protest a policy you don’t like. You do this because you’ve been brainwashed. You’ve been brainwashed by a warped ideology that teaches you that this child isn’t human. We will not let barbarism defeat humanity."

Barbarism. What has the world come to? 

We have been telling our children to be careful walking on the street, to be aware of people around them, to not speak on cell phones while walking around lest they look vulnerable, inattentive and become a victim.  We ask our children to call us when they arrive at their destination and while they are gone, their safety is always in the back of a mother’s mind.

But what if a sweet child is murdered in her home in her own bed? When summer vacation has only just begun and when the days are long and hot and when a child can finally sleep in just a wee bit later. Or never get up again. Because a child murderer wielding a butcher’s knife breaks into a home with the intent on killing another child while she sleeps.

I cannot get this vision out of my head as the pain is too acute. The horror is too intense to bear. And if I thought I could sleep better knowing my children are all home in their beds, I am wrong.

Yet tonight, my children are all out. All night. One daughter is in Jerusalem. She will be walking back to a friend’s alone at night. Three children are at Leila Lavan, the ‘white night,’ all-night party held once a year on the streets of Tel Aviv. They intend to stay up all night, listen to music, dance and hang out with their friends.

As I said in my last posting, life here will not stop. Two people were just stabbed in Netanya tonight.  And life will not stop. Mothers will feel unease as all mothers do, yet we know our children must live their lives in freedom and not fear.

Our kids yearn to enjoy their summer vacation, to sleep in a bit, to live their young lives fully. And no one in this mad world will take this freedom away from them.

June 19, 2016


Sarona, Tel Aviv
There are seconds between a beautiful moment, one of casual conversation, of laughs and connections with people you care for. And a second later, it falls apart. A gunman on a spree. Or a knife in the back of a simple bystander who is in the wrong place at the wrong second.

And the next second is filled with screams, death, then a lifetime of emptiness for those we miss from those who truly loved.

From Tel Aviv to Orlando, our world is becoming filled with the sounds of gunfire, screams, mourning. War has been taken from the battlefront to the café and club where there are no soldiers, just people trying to live life.

Here is a true story from the Sarona Marketplace shooting in Tel Aviv on June 8, 2016 at 9:30 pm. Four innocent people were killed and six were wounded by two terrorists wielding Carl Gustav submachine guns and wearing shiny suits.

Wednesday night. A warm summer’s evening in Tel Aviv. Time to go out with friends and unwind from a busy day at work. Perhaps stroll along the boardwalk by the Mediterranean Sea or have a drink at an outdoor café.

Moshe* chose to go out to a movie with his wife on this night. As a police officer, he worked long, hard hours and now it was time to just relax. As they left the theater to walk home, Moshe felt as if something had changed. People were walking quickly, some were running, looking nervously behind. He heard sirens and ambulances and knew something bad had happened. Switching on his phone, he saw the news flash: Terror attack at Sarona.

He had to go and help but his gun was at home. Together, he and his wife ran to their apartment and were about to go in when Moshe spotted a man wandering along the street just ahead of him. The man looked lost and he nearly stumbled. Always ready to help Moshe caught up with him. The man was dressed in a shiny black suit and was dazed.

“Can I help you, my friend? ”Moshe asked.

The man looked at him. He was speechless.

“Would you like to come upstairs for a glass of cold water?” The man nodded and followed them inside. His in laws were sitting on the couch watching the news.

“I know. I heard,” Moshe said, offering the stranger a seat next to them on the couch. He ran to his room and grabbed his gun.

“Sara*, give this gentleman a glass of cold water. Let him sit for a while. I have to get there fast." 

He ran to the Sarona, elbowing his way through the crowds. Sirens wailed. The police were already there but Moshe could always lend a helping hand. Ambulances were parked outside and paramedics were evacuating the wounded. Moshe flashed his police badge and ran into Max Brenner’s, the restaurant where the attack occurred.

A crowd stood in a circle. A wounded man lay on the ground. It was the terrorist who was stopped, shot by a security guard. And he was wearing a shiny black suit. It was the same clothing as the man who he saw on the road. He had heard there was a gunman at large...and now he knew this killer was in his own living room, sitting with his family.

Moshe felt cold sweat drip down his neck. He groaned and began to run, pushing and shouting at people to get out of the way. He grabbed a few policeman and together they ran.

Images flashed through his mind. He’d seen it all in his many years of police service and now it his family were in danger, sitting with a murderer who Moshe had invited inside.

He tore his way back home, flew up the stairs and his heart pounding, he opened the front door. Panting. Breathless. Sweaty. The policemen entered and pointed their guns, fingers on the trigger.

Sara and her parents looked up in shock. The stranger in the black suit stared away vacantly, his glass of water still full. And Moshe moved towards him quietly, surely and pulled him to the floor, pinning the gun in his back.

*not the true names

These are the seconds between a night out at the movies and killers on a rampage. It is all calm until mayhem breaks out. And then the calm returns as people try to fill life with 'normalcy.'

Max Brenner’s was filled with people on Thursday night and then again on Friday. It will always be packed with people who refuse to give in to fear. The evening after the attack, as people sat sipping coffee, a small memorial of flowers lay tucked into a corner.

People are not callous. Quite the opposite. We will never forget and never stop mourning. But we will never stop living and laughing and, as Moshe did, helping.