The Author


Would you like to know how much we accomplished during the summer? Zero! Zilch! And why? Because Hamas decided to ruin our summer by firing rockets at us.

​Looking at the calendar, I see that next Wednesday ​ night is Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New year).

​Where did the summer go?  Backtracking to May, my husband and I planned the summer projects we wanted to do.  Paint the outside alcove from our house.  Work in the yard. Paint the metal bars of our sukkah (hut used during feast of Tabernacles) frame.  And in general finish up small projects that we started but never completed.

I had friends who wanted to come and visit with me, spend the day roaming Netivot and going to the grave of the Baba Sali (famous Moroccan rabbi and kabbalist). That didn’t happen, much too dangerous.

Would you like to know how much we accomplished during the summer? Zero, Zilch! And why? Because Hamas decided to ruin our summer and everyone else’s summer by firing rockets at us.

Pretty hard to work outside when you have only 15 seconds to get to safety.

What can you do in 15 seconds? Not so much, but believe me, I’m not complaining…..those who live around the Gaza belt have seven seconds to seek safety.

Our Regional Council [Moetz] in Sdot Negev helped make the summer vacation somewhat pleasant for the children. They organized and subsidized many field trips: to the zoo in Jerusalem, a hands-on children’s museum in Tel Aviv and a variety of other programs.

In my family we had the additional worry of a grandson chayal (soldier), serving in a tank unit in Gaza. And just before one of the many ceasefires, we had another grandson mulliumnik (IDF reserves) called up on a Tzav 8 [emergency call up].

During one of our ceasefires, my husband and I took advantage of the quiet and went to Netivot to do some shopping. The southern businesses were really suffering during the war. The streets were deserted and the stores had no customers. On this day, Netivot was alive. The traffic was heavy, shopping-center parking lots were full and people were out, enjoying the quiet. Teens were hanging out at falafel stores and the outdoor cafes were busy. It was just wonderful to see.

Netivot is a great city, it is so sad to see how it has suffered. I posted about our shopping trip and had several interesting comments on the same theme: Don’t get use to it….rockets will be coming back.

I replied with this comment on my Facebook status:

I have been reading different postings from people who live all over the country. I have come to the conclusion that the residents of the south see the ceasefire in a different light. This ceasefire is a breather for us. The people are out doing everyday things. Children are playing outside. Stores are busy. Traffic is heavy. Parking lots are full. Teens are hanging out. Whether or not the ceasefire holds is another question, but for now it is good and positive.

As everyone knows, the ceasefire didn’t hold, and 24 hours after it had expired, another ceasefire was called. And once again Hamas fired rockets, this time to Be’er Sheva, and the ceasefire was broken.

On one Sabbath eve our yishuv (settlement) in the south was the recipients of three Grad missiles within a two-hour span.

We are now in the middle of a ceasefire. Will it hold beyond the first month? Who knows? This war or operation, as the government called it, was one of the longest wars our country has known except for the War of Independence, which we are still fighting.

Negotiations are supposed to start next week in Cairo.  Israel’s security is of utmost importance. Rockets must end forever. Hamas must be demilitarized. What is this going to cost us? Our government is under tremendous pressure from world leaders. They all make great speeches on how we have the right to defend ourselves, but when we do, they threaten to take our leaders and the IDF to the world court.

The world wants us to ​ make concessions that are painful and amount to political suicide. The comments from [US President] Obama, [UN chief] Ban Ki-moon and others seem like nothing other than pure anti-Semitism.

Our IDF and IAF have done a marvelous job defending our nation with pride. Our chayalim and chayalot (female soldiers) are the best. May God continue to watch over our army and may He give our leaders the ability to make the right choices to bring security and quiet to our nation.



Article by Miriam Goodman

Miriam Goodman made Aliyah from Canada with her family in 1994. She lives in the Negev. She is the mother of three, the safta of 13 precious Sabra grandchildren and a great-grandmother. She is known for her 'Safta Cookies'. Writing is a hobby and she has a blog called Miriam's Words.