Miriam Lock, a Fellowship staff member in our Jerusalem office, shares her remembrance of the October 7 attacks on Israel.

On October 7, I was staying with my son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren in Tzur Hadassah, a twenty-minute drive from my home. We were celebrating the Jewish festival of Simchat Torah, which is a holiday that kids love. There is always lots of singing and dancing, and the synagogue is filled with small children sitting on their fathers’ shoulders and waving flags. It looked like it would be a nice, warm, early autumn day spent with family. I certainly was not expecting anything out of the ordinary to happen.

About 8:00 AM, I was brushing my teeth when I heard a strange sound. It was so unexpected that at first, I did not recognize it for what it was a siren indicating that a missile had been shot in our direction. “Quickly, get into the safe room!” my daughter-in-law said as I opened the bathroom door about to ask, “Did you hear that noise?” She herded my three grandchildren, ages 6, 4, and 2, into the safe room (which luckily is their bedroom), and I joined them.

Not knowing what was happening, I didn’t have any time to be scared, as I immediately went to “fun grandmother” mode. We took out toys and games from the shelf and began to play with the kids. But there wasn’t just one siren every time we left the room, a few minutes passed and there was another. We’d run back into the safe room and take out a different game for the kids.

Learning of the Hamas Attack

We didn’t know what was happening at that very moment in the south of Israel. We are Sabbath observant, so we didn’t turn on the news or make phone calls to get more information. In retrospect I am glad we did not know for a few more hours, at least about the horrors of the murderous infiltration of Hamas terrorists into Israel’s Gaza border communities.

The sirens eventually stopped. The kids played in the living room, and we even took them out for a little while, staying close to home. My son’s neighbour, a young mother of four kids, came over to say her husband received a call up notice…something was happening in the south, but we did not know the details until the evening.

I guess there is some bliss in not knowing. But soon enough, of course, we found out what had happened. I remember reading the news on my cell phone. I couldn’t understand how Hamas terrorists had made it over the border and into the towns and kibbutzim near the Gaza border. It was the nightmare of all nightmares. I was in shock, yet still not completely surprised.

A War Unlike Any Other

Now, I thought that evening as I absorbed the truth of what had happened, the world will understand what the state of Israel is dealing with. I prayed that the people who make the decisions in this country will make the right ones so that we can go on with our lives. My heart broke for the civilians who were murdered that day, and for the hostages who were so close and yet so far.

It was the beginning of a war unlike any other war Israel has fought, and there have been a lot of wars … too many.

Miriam Lock