Sunday, July 16, 2006

Collateral Damage

As I am sure many (if not all) Rabbis did this Shabbat, ours spoke of what is happening in our beloved Israel. I have not really spoken with LO about this because I have not really been sure how to explain the notion of war to her. Our Rabbi spoke of the "collateral damage" caused by war. He spoke particularly about the children in the Middle East. This certainly struck a chord with LO. After services, I realized that I would have to find some way to explain what is happening to her.

Tears welled up in her eyes as I told her. She asked why we couldn't just tell the "bad guys" to give our soldiers back. In her mind it must be much like child's play...a child takes someone else's toy, a parent makes him/her return the toy, and all is well. If only it were that simple. In her mind, the "bad guys" should just be punished for not listening. In a way that is exactly what is happening...but how do you explain "collateral damage" to a child?

LO spent some time at my ex's house yesterday...apparently she watched the news while she was there. When she got home last night, she told me that she saw Israel on TV and that it was very bad over there. In her eyes I could see her compassionate neshama searching for something, anything, she could do or say...

All I could do was to tell her that the best thing we can do for our soldiers and our beloved Israel at this time is to pray.

He Who blessed our forefathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob -- may He bless the fighters of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our land and the cities of our G-d, from the border of the Lebanon to the desert of Egypt, and from the Great Sea unto the approach of the Aravah, on the land, in the air, and on the sea.

May the Almighty cause the enemies who rise up against us to be struck down before them. May the Holy One, Blessed is He, preserve and rescue our fighters from every trouble and distress and from every plague and illness, and may He send blessing and success in their every endeavor.

May He lead our enemies under our soldiers' sway and may He grant them salvation and crown them with victory. And may there be fulfilled for them the verse: For it is the Lord your G-d, Who goes with you to battle your enemies for you to save you.


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