October 17, 2023
The worst feeling for me in it all is when I wake up in the morning and remember. And then I feel the dread at checking my phone. May there not be a name I recognize. But every name is recognizable to many others.
I arrived to Israel last week from Boston. I spent my last day state-side buying gear for friends - primarily soldiers. Most of my friends are in the army reserves and gear of all kind is in short supply – as might be expected after hundreds of thousands of reserve callups.
I had six hours in Boston to buy as much as I could. I had no money and no car. Within a half hour, I had a friend of a friend who was willing to take the entire day off and drive me as far as New Hampshire in search of equipment. Friends in Boston and New York organized donations and had a budget of several thousand dollars for me within the hour.
And off we went. At the first army outlet store we visited I met a woman who is Israeli. She was buying gear for family members. We immediately connected and she gave me a bag to deliver to them. While there, she found out her cousin’s son was found dead. We gave her a hug. A woman we met five minutes ago. Then she gave me money to buy more gear for people.
Meanwhile, another volunteer, was doing the same in New York while volunteers in Israel and all around the states coordinate gear lists directly from the soldiers, arranged other shipments, raised money, and helped problem solve through any obstacle.
It was the most well oiled machine I’d ever been a part of, a pointing to the power of collective clear purpose. It was not about anyone. There was no ego. It was about doing this in the best possible way. Saving the most lives. That’s it. What a pleasure to be a part of such a thing. What a tragedy that spurs it forward. But the humanity and love that is flowing right now humbles me and powers my broken heart.
Meanwhile, donations continue to pour in. Thank you. But more than money, it feels relevant to say that taking care of ourselves through this process remains extremely important. It is this that allows us to truly support and give to others.
I will continue to update from Israel to show what is actually happening here. My heart feels heavy with grief and sadness. It also burns with awe at the resilience of the human heart and the love that a broken heart can pour. And I feel fear over the pain yet to come.
And as I write I feel that my words are undeserving. That those more deserving words are those that cannot be written now for the hands that can write instead grip rifles or prepare for funerals. And the most deserving belong to those whose hands now lie still. Who will tell their story?