This is the last blog, hopefully, about earthquakes.
I have written about the tachlis (practical) stuff in the previous blogs.
The earthquake drill had shaken me greatly. I videoed it with tears in my eyes. I thought, "This could really happen," chas v'shalom, because as the officer from Home Front Command explained, "We're not only talking about earthquakes, we're also talking about manmade disasters."
The other parents and staff present at the earthquake drill giggled as they announced, "Three children are unable to get out of the school building, we will now send in an emergency team," or "A child is stuck on the roof, our emergency team will snapple down with him."
They were laughing and I was crying.
Yoram Levran, Jerusalem District Home Front Command, explained that the man-made threats around us are very great.
He detailed the real and present threat from the Palestinian Authority, from Hamas, from Lebanon, from Syria and from Iran. He explained very clearly how far our enemies' missiles could fly. Chas v'shalom: Gazan missiles can reach Tel Aviv. Hizbullah missiles can reach Beer Sheva. He explained that there has never been a hotter war of words between Israel and Syria (this is very dangerous, he said). He then quoted the religious and political leaders of Iran who have very recently once again vowed to wipe Israel off the map. He said the danger is real.
So, I myself quaked after hearing two hours of this information.
Then I watched the complete drill and was just praying the entire time, "Please, G-d, don't let this ever be a reality."
And then something wonderful happened, and as we know, NOTHING is a coincidence.
While I spent the morning talking about the bleak threatened future G-d forbid of disasters, death, injured, earthquakes, missiles, I spent the afternoon seeing the true bright future of Am Yisrael at the Siddur (Prayer Book) Ceremony of First Graders of Efrat's Aseh Chayil School.
This was the answer to the fears of the morning.
Little six and seven year olds in their white shirts and cute red ties each received a beautiful siddur, its cover decorated lovingly by their mothers. This siddur is the beginning of the luckiest moments of their lives. With this siddur, each child has been given a key to Hashem's chambers. Each child will be able to turn to Hashem in times, chas v'shalom, of fear, in times of sorrow, in times of disaster. They will also be able to call out to Hashem in times of joy and every important and quiet time in their lives.
The siddur is an upside down funnel that increases their faith exponentially through words of tefillah (prayer) and hope.
Sometimes in times of crisis or ecstacy, when we do not know what to say, we have only to open our siddurim and the words can be found there before us.
In the morning, the older children prepared for earthquakes, and in the afternoon, the youngest elementary school children truly showed the way - the path of faith (emunah) and hope that will get the Jewish people through any disaster, G-d forbid, and lead us on the way to a positive future for the Jewish People, Hashem's chosen nation.
Through our faith and belief, we will get through anything.
You can watch a short segment of the wonderful Siddur celebration right here:
Mazel tov to all the first graders and their families. With your siddurim in your hands, you will never ever be alone. You've got a direct line to The One Above.