Every day I wake up and check my phone for updates about my boys—Gilad, Eyal, and Naftali. I know that I did not give birth to them and they are not biologically my children, but now they are. I know every other Jewish woman feels the same way.
I am driving my husband crazy. In the morning, after I check my phone, I turn to him and say, “No news!” He knows what I am talking about. “Where are they? Where can they be? Are they being fed? Are they cold? Are they together?”
My husband shakes his head sadly and says, patiently and gently, “I don’t know, I just don’t know.”
We are praying, my daughter has a pink post it with their names on it stuck to her bed post: Yaakov Naftali ben Rachel Devorah, Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim, Eyal ben Iris Teshurah. Their names are always on my lips.
I look at pictures of their families, of their mothers and tears come to my eyes, my heart wrenches. I send them telepathic messages, “Keep strong, every Jewish mother is praying and sending love your way.”
I watch videos of prayer vigils at the Kotel, and the new music videos that have sprung up to spread awareness. I have called the White House and spoke to a woman who sounded like a recording. I see my boys’ faces constantly before me, I think in hashtags — #bringbackourboys.
I seek inspiration. A resident of Nof Ayalon, posted a letter on his Facebook page that the Nof Ayalon community received from the community of Beit El:
Here’s a translation:
Dear Nof Ayalon family,
Hakadosh Baruch Hu, chose you to be the closest family to surround the Frenkel family with love. Just like a rock that is thrown into a lake creates ripples, so too a personal trial creates waves. You are the first circle that has been created to surround the family, the family that has enveloped them with life and love.
We, from one of the outer circles, feel that we are with you. We are praying and crying out to the Ribono Shel Olam to return the boys. It will then be a celebration for all of us, an eternal happiness. We are sending you flowers with love, that there should be good news, and salvation soon.
The Beit El family
That’s inspiration. If Beit El is one the rings of the circle of love surrounding Nof Ayalon, then where am I? I am there too! Even across the world in America, we are encircling them with love, prayer and good wishes. We are in the outermost rings but we are there. We cannot wait to celebrate with them when our boys come home.