Day 44 19 Nov 2023
Towards the beginning of the war, we wrote about a family of eleven and number twelve on its way. They squished all of them into a seven passenger SUV and left Sderot. They have spent the past forty-two days in a hotel room. There was no place for the kids, ranging from 24 months to 17 to play, no toys, nothing to keep them occupied during the day. They felt like sardines in a can and the kids were bouncing off the walls.
They decided to come back to Sderot yesterday. A little apprehensive, but they came back anyway. The kids were delighted to be able to run around, kicking balls, playing with their toys and sleeping in their own beds. They explained to their kids that the “booms” they hear are from the IDF defending us, so there is nothing to worry about. On the few occasions there has been a Tseva Adom, they ran to their bomb shelter as usual.
They left Sderot with nine children and came back with ten! Her name… Amunah; or in English, Faith. They left Sderot in fear and came back to Sderot in and with Faith! We made sure their refrigerator was full and that they had hot meals for Shabbat and baby formula for Faith as well.
Once again, we were able to distribute hot meals on Friday for Shabbat. Dudu who picks up the food for us and brings it to Sderot, has been a big help in making this happen. Well, to tell the truth without your support, even Dudo couldn’t make this happen.
Not only do we get top notch meals out to the people still here in Sderot but what ever is left over goes to help feed soldiers. Our soldiers are putting their lives on the line to protect us and to put an end to the terrorist that want to see us all dead; so, we reach out to them as well.
On the morning of 7 Oct 2023, David and Rachel were home with their grandchildren. This is nothing short of a miracle, how Rachel and David Edery survived as hostages in their own home. It has been widely covered by the media in Israel and beyond, and has turned them into local heroes, along with the two police officers who died courageously trying to rescue the couple.
Armed only with handguns, the officers died in the yard at the hands of the five terrorists, who shot them with semi-automatic assault rifles.
Rachel especially is cherished for her resourceful handling of the five hostage takers, whom she fed, distracted with music and befriended them to stay alive during a 15-hour standoff. Her grandchildren were upstairs and she did everything in her power to keep the terrorists from going upstairs and hurting her grandchildren.
The second that SWAT fighters broke into their home, David, her husband, whose silent demeanor contrasts with his wife’s bubbly personality, leaped on her to shield her body with his own from bullets and shrapnel.
In the end the terrorists were killed, Rachel, David and their grandchildren were physically unharmed. They returned back to their home once since 7 Oct. to pay respect to the two police officers who gave their lives trying to protect them. When they got back into their home they were faced with the smell of the remains of the meal she gave to the terrorists, the bullet holes in the walls and the stench of the blood of the terrorists. She looked around and said, “there is nothing here to come back to.”
On Oct 7th. This picture was taken by one of the elderly people who was part of a group, who were on their way to have an enjoyable day at The Dead Sea. If you notice, they all seem to be looking up at something. They were looking at the incoming Kassam barrage, not knowing what was to come next. Seconds after this picture was taken, the Hamas terrorists drove by, and shot and killed ALL of them. Whoever tried to escape was hunted down on the street. No one escaped. In the next picture taken, of them, which I will not post, they were still all in the same spots, just laying dead on the ground.
For the past forty-four days there has been an incredible amount of pain, suffering, anxiety and uncertainty here in Sderot. Through it all there has been one constant ray of hope, help, support and love. The love and support you have shown to the people of Sderot has been matchless. The out pouring of your love has put countless meals on our residents tables, helped with living expenses which became monumental when they fled the 7 Oct 2023 terrorists attack.
We have no idea how long this will go on but we hope and pray that we will be able to continue to share your ray of Hope For Sderot.
We have been able to live up to our name because of YOUR love and support. YOU make Hope For Sderot what it is. I will NEVER be able to express our gratitude to you for that love and support. Thank you for allowing us to serve you and the residents of Sderot. It is the highest honor I have ever been part of… THANK YOU.