‘Israel Is So Dear to Me’
The Fellowship | October 31, 2023
“What I most want to say, so that the whole world will know, is that our small nation is going through very hard times. And what happened to us this time has never happened before.”
That’s 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Ziva, who survived of the Nahal Oz massacre when the kibbutz was attacked by Hamas terrorists on October 7. That dark day, the kibbutz was attacked for 12 hours, during which they lost entire families. One family was taken as a hostage to the Gaza Strip.
Ziva, who has been a member of the kibbutz for over 50 years, remembers hearing the sirens that morning and she says “it was a shock” as she and her caregiver rushed to the safe room.
In the hours that followed, she made calls to her friends, her family, and security officers, but often the connection was cut off or they didn’t answer. So she waited in the safe room, not knowing if anyone was still alive.
After all those painful hours of waiting, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) rescued the kibbutz, and Ziva was evacuated to a safer area of Israel. But she’s left with the haunting stories of those lost: “[We are in] terrible pain. Every person is so dear to us, including the kibbutzim near us. The stories are terrible.”
In the meantime, she is just so grateful that there are people around the world, Fellowship friends who want to help, who provided her with a purchase card to help supply her with basic needs during this difficult time. And she adds, “the state of Israel is so dear to me.”