Mrs. O, her husband and five children live on a third floor of their apartment building. The top floor does not have a safety roof to prevent kassams from coming right into their bedroom or living room.
In 2006, the home they were in was hit twice by kassams. Praise be to G-D they were not home either time so there were no physical injuries, but there were mental injuries. Three years later the entire family is afraid of what might happen again if they are not so lucky next time
The whole idea behind terrorism is to strike fear and terror in the people you target, and Hamas has done just that. Just because the kassams have temporarily stopped does not mean the fear has gone away, I can personally attest to that from first hand experience.
Mr. O has had difficulty holding a job because every time he hears “Tseva Adom” he leaves work to go home to check up on children. You see, you come to realize just what is important in life when you live with the constant threat of loosing your family. He recently lost his job as a driver. They have to hire a lawyer, which they cannot afford, to fight for his back pay.
Mr. O is presently doing part time work through a placement agency but there are not many jobs available in Sderot. Today, he is painting a house. He was receiving ₪3500 a month (around $1000 a month) but now, they have no income except the ₪477 they get for the three children from social services.
They have fallen behind on their electric and water bills. They now owe thousands of shekels for credit card debt and time payments for all their debtors. Their rent is government subsidized which only cost them a fraction of the normal rent.
Once you have been turned over for collection you not only owe your debt but you incur attorney fees and interest as well. They had made arraignments to pay ₪200 every month but they cannot even do that now. In Israel, if you default on this last ditch effort to stay afloat a little longer, the collection agency can, and they do take away the things from your home. Everything they have – beds, tables, closets, living room furniture, appliances (mostly all given to them); they can take it all and leave them sitting on a Jerusalem stone floor with nothing. Mr. and Mrs. O are afraid this will happen soon and they will lose everything and still owe the massive debt.
Mrs. O’s parents came here from Morocco in the 60’s and she was born here in Sderot. She avoids taking her younger children out, because when she does she is afraid they might ask for something, something she can not afford. She would like to bring her children to the public swimming pool which is open for the first time in several years due to Kassam danger, but she can’t. We hope to bring them next week sometime.
This is what happens to a family, to their lives when a Kassam rips through your city, your home, your life. These are the people we try to bring hope to. There is Hope For Sderot and that hope comes from G-D, His covenants He made with His people and from those of you that allow Him to touch your heart. Baruch Ha’shem and thank you.