Waiting for gas masks

The gas mask distribution at Ace in Netanya, Israel

This past Sunday my wife and I took a trip to the home improvement megastore, Ace, in the central Israel city of Netanya. However, instead of shopping for home appliances or gardening tools, we were there to pick up free, government-issued gas masks for ourselves and our two small children. My wife had heard on the radio that distribution of gas masks was taking place at Ace this week until Tuesday, after which there will be no more gas masks available. So we immediately rushed to the store and were greeted by a big surprise: a two-hour wait in a line that wrapped around the building.

While waiting, I kept thinking about all the people in Israel who would not be getting masks since supplies are running short.  It has been reported that 40% of the population will not receive masks. I couldn’t help but think about my neighbors and wonder whether or not they have masks. A dreaded scenario repeated in my head where Israel was at war with Iran and my family and I were forced into the local bomb shelter. Would I be able to put a mask on to protect myself in case of a chemical attack if my neighbors had no access to the lifesaving gas masks? What about the mother of two who lives next door and my neighbor Yudit who lost her son in the Lebanon War? Would I let them go without a mask as I strap mine on?

Unfortunately, I was unable to pick up extra masks for friends and neighbors. The government employees were very careful to distribute one mask per each family member listed on my national ID card. As a matter of fact, my wife, who is pregnant, was unable to get a mask for our soon-to-be-born child.

These are the thoughts and fears that are running through our minds here in Israel. With rockets landing in the south and the threat of a regional war with Iran looming over us, we cannot escape the fact that sooner or later we will face a decisive struggle for Israel’s existence. Each person has to be prepared for this bleak scenario.

Waiting in the line at Ace with the people of Israel – elderly and children, businessmen and new immigrants – I overheard many conversations. One woman on her lunch break who came to pick up a mask for her elderly mother was distressed because she underestimated the line and realized she would be very late getting back to work. For her, this trip to Ace was another chore on her “to do” list. Others in the line spoke about Iran, Turkey, U.S.-Israel relations, and internal Israeli politics. The common thread running through all the conversations was that everyone agreed an attack on Iran was inevitable, and that we have no clue what the repercussions will be. All we can do is stay prepared and alert.

The hardest thing for me as a father living in Israel is to explain to my young, inquisitive daughter that there are bad people in the world who want to kill us simply because we are Jewish. She understands it at a certain level because it relates to some of the Jewish holidays she celebrates, such as Purim, when we rejoice over our deliverance from an evil man’s plot to annihilate the Jewish people. But it’s difficult for her to fathom that even today there are people plotting to destroy Israel and the Jewish people. In her innocent mind, Purim celebrates our final defeat over the evildoers who wanted to destroy the Jewish people. It is so difficult to explain to her that the evildoers who hate the Jewish people still exist today.

I speak often to friends in Israel who also have children. For all of us, the idea of going into a bomb shelter and strapping gas masks on our family is a nightmare; yet it is one that we replay in our minds constantly. And while I am tormented by the idea of seeing a mask on any small child, I am concerned for all those who will not be getting masks, because there simply are not enough to go around.

Author: Stand For Israel | March 20, 2012
Posted in:  Uncategorized


What do you think?

  • faith
    September 8, 2013
    9:05 pm

    Oh Israel, we all must call on Jesus to save us,he will hear our cry and deliver us. Blessed be the Lord.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Randall
    March 25, 2012
    9:42 pm

    Visited Israel several years ago….what a life changing experience! Israel….America will never let you down.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Virginia
    March 23, 2012
    11:51 am

    I, too, pray daily for the peace of Jerusalem & protection from those who would harm her.

    Reply to this comment »
  • JoAnn
    March 23, 2012
    7:31 am

    This report makes me cry. “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly realm,” (Ephesians 6:12). Israel and Christians are not two, but one, united in and by Messiah. He is coming, and quickly. Look up and listen for the trumpet. All of us suffer together in love.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Nancy
    March 22, 2012
    8:35 pm

    I am so grieved about this….I will be praying for all of Israel….for G-d’s protection. I pray many will be praying and come to know the Lord through this horrific situation.

    Reply to this comment »
  • nathan
    March 22, 2012
    6:21 pm

    American Christians stand with Israel. We are of the same family with faith in God and Country. This bond will grow stronger as the storm clouds gather over the Holy Land. The enemies of Israel are the common enemies of freedom and justice. We’re in this together. We will never betray Israel.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Laurie
    March 22, 2012
    6:17 pm

    Very sobering and thought provoking article…very surrealistic…my heart goes out to the people of Israel…may the Lord be with you all in these perilous times.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Rebekah
    March 22, 2012
    4:38 pm

    I am so very disappointed that America’s news media is not getting the real truth and story out as this author has portrayed!! I do know that God can and will do the impossible to protect his chosen!

    Reply to this comment »
  • jeb
    March 22, 2012
    4:30 pm

    The fact that it is Israel that is every few years preparing for chemical attack and not their neighbors is a clear demonstration of the real risks of a WMD attack the Israeli’s face and the lesser threat the surrounding nations face from Israel, the supposed military bully. Israeli’s had to endure WMD attacks from Hussein, never knowing if the next SCUD would have special tips. Let’s not forget which side the Palestinians were on when the SCUDs landed in civilian neighborhoods or how they filled the streets in celebration when 9-11 occurred. If Israel has the bomb, it’s no wonder they need it. I just pray G-d they will never need to use it.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Rosalie
    March 21, 2012
    6:00 pm

    I am saddened as the writer of this article. I wish I could send gas masks to everyone. God will take care of his own; he promised. I will be praying for all of you.

    Reply to this comment »
    • Olivia
      March 22, 2012
      8:22 pm

      I would be willing to purchase at least 5 gas masks and mail them to Israel. Whats the address.
      I want everyone to get a gas mask.

      Reply to this comment »
  • Diane
    March 21, 2012
    5:57 pm

    I certainly feel for those who are anxiety ridden, waiting for some sort of attack from the likes of Iran. I also am saddened that there are not enough masks for all who may be in harms way.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Francis
    March 21, 2012
    3:58 pm

    I am praying for the safety and peace of Yerusalayem and all the people of Yisrael.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Eric
    March 21, 2012
    3:45 pm

    God will protect His people, God bless and my prayers are with you.

    Reply to this comment »
  • KAren
    March 21, 2012
    2:21 pm

    My prayers are continually with Israel. We are all in this together. I pray that soon the cry will go out, “Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord”!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Phyllis
    March 21, 2012
    1:19 pm

    Better to be ready in the present climate of rumours of war as predicted in the bible in these days as we know God will protect His people from total annihilation

    Reply to this comment »
  • Dorothy
    March 21, 2012
    11:54 am

    I pray that God overshadows His elect!!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Gary
    March 21, 2012
    11:50 am

    I pray for Isreal!!!

    Reply to this comment »

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