This Week's Message 

Back home on the Gaza Border - and the terrible war still goes on

A resident of a kibbutz on the Gaza border, who chose to remain anonymous, writes:

More than a hundred days of war, and I’m at the kibbutz again.

I haven’t slept here since October 7th. When I left it was still warm outside. Now, I’m wearing a sweater and still shivering. The Kibbutz is rather empty, but not quiet. There’re sounds of work, army vehicles, and especially loud cannons.

Even us kibbutz residents, who’re used to boom sounds, jump from them occasionally. There's a new scent in the air. Smoke, gunpowder and something else I can’t identify. It’s bad, the kind of smell animals avoid.

I think that with all the news, the television, the tiktoks and tweets, we sometimes forget about simple things, like the human body. How it shivers when it’s cold, gets hungry when it’s lacking food. Tenses up when a bomb falls. It’s always fighting to hold on, eventually breaking down. For the body it’s only a matter of time.

Not far from me there are people who for 100 days have been feeling hell itself on their bodies. Gazan children who face the cold in sandals and short sleeve shirts. 136 hostages who slowly starve. The cannon that made my home shake sent a bomb that will tear down another. I think about that with every cannon I hear, and that sound is deafening. At least it silences those who say “we have no choice”, who say “victory”, who say “revenge”. In that silence only numbers are left. 100 days. Tomorrow 101. And every day another body loses the fight, and stops holding on.

My October 7th is over. For 15 hours my body was everything I had. My heartbeats. My ears, that heard shooting outside. My mouth, dry from thirst. But for me those 15 hours had an end. Since then more than a hundred days have passed, during which over 27,000 Gazans were massacred, including over 10,000 children. During which about 2 million people lost their homes, and entire neighborhoods were destroyed.

100 days. 101. 102. Already 127 days, and it is not yet over

For me, these numbers aren’t an invitation to mourn the dead. They don’t even make me think of the fact that after 100 days of war, no security or peace were achieved, only destruction. No, for me they are a reminder that so many more lives can be lost. So today don’t mourn in silence, but shout, for life, for the chance to save lives and the for future they deserve. Shout tomorrow too, and the day after that. This has to stop.