From Dancing With the Torah to War

Yael Eckstein  |  October 8, 2023

IDF, October 7
(Photo: Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)

Writing at Townhall, Yael says that after just one day of war there are unthinkable tragedies and horrors happening in Israel. But she reminds us that Israel is a country of hope—and this hope cannot be destroyed:

There was an unfathomable scene in the synagogue today.

One by one, as men were dancing with the Torah in celebration of the holiday of Simchat Torah, the phones in their pockets began buzzing. And they knew exactly what it was.

Each one of them had the same response – they kissed the Torah, hugged their friends, and then ran home to change from their holiday clothes into their army fatigues.

In the span of an hour, nearly a dozen men in our tiny synagogue were called up to reserve duty in the Israel Defense Forces to transition from spiritually protecting Israel through prayer to physically protecting Israel with their bodies.

My neighbor David returned to the synagogue wearing his fatigues to give one last kiss to his wife and two young children before he departed. His wife broke down hysterically; her reality had changed too quickly and drastically for her mind to process. Just a few hours earlier, she had been eating a carefree holiday meal with her husband and children, laughing and taking joy in each other’s presence. Now, she was sending her beloved out to war.