Thanks to all of you for the messages, calls and prayers for our families and people during yet another war in Israel. We want you to know that we are all fine and your support at these times is a great source of encouragement to us. All the members of our congregation are extremely grateful for your concern and ask to express our warmest thanks and love to each of you.
Of course our greatest concern is for our children, many of whom are soldiers serving in the army. During our Shabbat service this week we gave special attention to pray for the many families in our congregation who have sons and daughters in active service. Some of our members have also been called up for Reserve Duty and we need to support their families. Please read the brief report from one of our sons serving in the anti-missile “Iron Dome” unit.
War is a frightening thing, especially for young children. Fear is a reflex, not easily ignored, and children don’t hide their feelings as easily as we do. They cry as the sirens screech out their terrible warning. They tremble and shake as the missiles explode.
As we try to comfort our children during these days of warfare, I sometimes wonder why God made our children so vulnerable. Why are the very things we love the most so delicate and easily wounded?
Human vulnerability, a fact of life not easy to live with, is even a major theme in the Bible. Stories are told and retold of how the Egyptians tried to murder the baby Moses only to be saved in a basket by Pharaoh's wife, or of King Herod’s plot to kill the infant Yeshua and the narrow escape by his mother and father carrying him to safety down to Egypt. In fact, all great heroes experience periods of peril, threat and vulnerability.
Why does God allow his people to be so susceptible to destruction? Why does He make it so easy to destroy his works?
Is not this the way of all creation? Do we not have a lion and a lamb? Is God not the author of power, might and the whimper of a newborn baby? And while He is known as the Lord of Hosts, He is also the God of the tender mercies of a mother with her child, of tears and of laughter.
For those of us left home to care for our families while our sons and daughters stand on the battlefield to protect us, it is our responsibility to care for our young ones. And though we must be bold and have courage, the family of God will not be afraid to express love and kindness, gentleness and care, even in times of war.
Amidst the turmoil of war sirens, rockets flying and bombs exploding we must open our hearts to the cry of a baby. Any baby. We must wonder in awe at the father holding his son’s hand as they huddle together hoping that all is well. We cannot allow war to kill us on the inside as well.