Missiles Masks And Miracles
"A flaming chunk of missile landed in
the middle of our apartment, setting everything on fire. I dialed the
emergency number and yelled into the phone, 'The missile's in my
living room, and it's burning down my house!' I helped my wife into
the car. Then I ran back up to the apartment we had lived in for
twenty-one years. But the smoke was too thick. I couldn't save
anything. Thank God we're still alive."
"Everything around me was destroyed.
The walls had fallen down and the ceiling had collapsed. I didn't even
have time to put on my mask when everything came crashing down around
me. I live on the ground floor; and above me three stories had
collapsed. We were all huddled together me, my wife and our children.
The wooden clothes closet fell on my wife. She was screaming
hysterically. It was terrible. Afterward it became clear that the
closet had fallen at such an angle that it shielded my wife from the
heavy rubble of the walls and concrete. She escaped with only five
stitches in her forehead. The rest of us were unharmed."
"Our house was seriously damaged
during the first attack. Luckily, at the time of the explosion,
neither of us was at home. We couldn't take the tension, so we decided
to visit some friends out of town. We got into our car and headed
north. Then, on the way, we heard the siren and then the explosion.
The windows of the car blew out, and a piece of missile came in
through the tailgate and exited through the right-hand door, flying
inches past my wife's head."
Living Through The Storm
February 1991 Purim
This book was written in 1991 while
Operation Desert Storm was raging in the Persian Gulf.
I started working on this manuscript after the
twenty-ninth missile fell somewhere in Israel. By the time the war had
ended, a total of thirty-nine missiles had crashed down around us. The
stories are true, but
the names and places have been changed or altered. This was done
originally for two reasons: to protect the surviving families from the
onslaught of curiosity seekers and interviewers, and to conceal
information from the Iraqis about the exact location and damage done
by specific missile attacks. I hope they have fired their last
missile, but one never knows. In the course of interviewing government
officials and rescue personnel, I discovered stories that showed how
closely Israel came to suffering major disasters. Due to security
restrictions, these stories cannot be told at this time.
The material for this book was drawn from
eyewitness accounts and reports in the Israeli Hebrew and English
press, radio and television. This book would not have been possible
without the tremendous efforts made by countless reporters and
photographers in the early days of the war. Because many of the
stories that were circulating throughout the country were so
incredible, I decided to limit the accounts in this book
to those that could be confirmed by at least one additional newspaper
account or by interviews with firsthand witnesses.
In the case of accounts originally told in
Hebrew, I adopted a free translation instead of a literal one in order
to make the accounts more readable to an English-speaking audience. I
made every effort to avoid
embellishing these stories: they speak for themselves.
I would like to express my gratitude to the
various Israeli government ministries for providing valuable
information. Special thanks are due to the Israel Government Press
Office and its staff. And an understated thank you goes to the
American and Israeli soldiers who manned the Patriot batteries and to
the United States led forces who had the courage to confront evil and
help make my home a safer place to
The following people should also be singled out
for their assistance on this project: Rabbi Noah Weinberg, Dean of
Aish HaTorah, for his encouragement, enthusiasm and support for this
project. Mordechai Haller for his research. R. Shmuel Silinsky for his
research of the Biblical passages. Mrs. Carol Topf for her research
and translation. Menachem Gottlieb and Robbie Berman for their
original interviews. Mrs.
Yonina Hall for her editing assistance. R. Chaim Dubin for his
computer expertise. Ben Tripp for his help with the photographs. Ken
Spiro for his advice. Henoch Kosberg for his assistance. Sharon
Friedman for her
encouragement and best efforts. Shimon Apisdorf and his team at
Leviathan Press for believing in this project. My sister Carolynne for
her help and advice. My parents and my father-in-law who have since
passed away, and my mother-in-law who probably suffered more during
the missile attacks than we did. And my children for always being a
source of joy and blessing
My wife Chana is the true hero of the war in our
family and deserves the credit for this book becoming a reality as
quickly as it did. She created a warm, loving environment in our home
despite the stress of missile
attacks-let alone the stress of dealing with a husband writing a book.
She is my constant companion and best editor and critic.
Finally, I would like to thank the One whose
invisible hand protected me, my family and all the others mentioned
(or not mentioned) within these pages. May He soon bring peace to
Israel and all nations.