Sunday, March 13, 2011

A 6 year old's view

I wasn't sure how to handle the Fogel's murder with Jonah or Sammy. A lot of the kids in Sammy's Gan are from Netzarim which is where the Fogel's lived until about a year ago. So pretty much everyone from there knew them. I didn't know if kids that age were aware of what happened or had overheard their parents talk about it.

At Gan pick-up, I asked the Gannenet if anything was said about it. She said in the morning meeting she asked if anyone had anything they wanted to share or talk about or ask about. No one brought it up so neither did she. Luckily our kids can remain blissfully innocent for that much longer.

I was more concerned about Jonah. He is older, understands more, and is scared of EVERYTHING. He is also in school where there are certainly people that know what happened. I didn't know if the school said something or some special prayers or if other kids brought it up. When I picked him up, I asked if anything special happened today or if he wanted to talk about anything. He said no. (His usual answer).

Once we got home, he asked as we were walking up the stairs if I had seen the Chadashot (news) today. I said yes. He said "What was on it? Can you tell me?" I asked him if he heard about what was on it and to tell me what he heard. He asked why and I said because I want to know what he heard and who told him.

He said his friend told him and that there were 2 mechablim (terrorists) that went into someone's house and killed the parents and 3 kids while they were asleep. And that a neighbor came and rescued the other 2 kids. He asked if that was right and I said yes. He then went into a huge rant about how if he sees the Mechablim he will call his friend or his friend will call him and they will fight them and kick them and punch them. He was very adamant about that!

I asked how he felt about it and if he wanted to talk about it at all. He said he just wants to hurt those Mechablim. Maybe he said kill them, not sure. I told him there was a rally to show our support for them where people will be singing and holding Israeli flags and signs and being together if he wants to go. He was not interested. Then he said he needed to practice fighting the Mechablim.

A little later, I think it started sinking into Jonah. He must have realized that if he sees the Mechablim, that means they are here. And that started to scare him. He asked if the mechablim could come here. I said no. He said why not. I said we have very good security and cameras and a special fence, chayalim, and guards that watch everyone who comes into Ariel. He asked, even at night? I said even at night. He asked what if they fall asleep and I explained how they take turns and some sleep during the day and then stay up at night.

Then he said he has to call his friend and tell him that the terrorists can't come here.

Of course the topic didn't come up again until bedtime. He started off asking Shauli questions. Said he knows that they can't come in with cars through the gate but what if they brought an airplane in. Shauli explained about how Israel knows everyone who is flying over Israel and makes sure they are good guys.
He was trying to figure out if there were other ways they could get in.

Sammy, who kept saying again and again how he is not scared of anything, suggested "what if they ARE Jews that come in through the gate but they are bad guy Jews....". I explained that the chayalim don't let any bad people in. Jewish, not Jewish, no bad people are allowed in.

Jonah asked, well, didn't they have a fence in Itamar? That was a harder one to explain. I tried to make it sound somewhat removed from us and remind him that it could never never happen here. I said our fence has cameras and we can see everyone and everything happening around Ariel.

Jonah asked if he could speak to a soldier or policeman about the security system. Apparently, my Mommy knowledge didn't cut it. He wanted details. He wanted answers. I told him that was a great idea and I would find out who he can talk to. I mentioned that our neighbor is a policeman so maybe we can talk to him. And I mentioned a few dad's of his friends who were in the army. I reminded him that he has a few uncles that were in the army and they could probably explain how security works.

Eventually, he went to bed. I spoke to a few friends and got a list of quite a number of people that would be happy to talk to him. People in our shul, parents in the school, even other random friends of friends, family. I also figured I would go into the school and see what they suggest. I really really really wanted to help Jonah feel safe.

This morning, we woke up and shortly before we went to school, I told Jonah that I thought I would come with him to school and talk to the principal and see if he knows anyone that Jonah can talk to. I also said I found out about so many people that are happy to talk to him and explain security in Ariel. I started listing people and telling him, see how many people are around protecting us and we didn't even know it???

He asked one more question. Can someone dig a hole and come into Ariel. I said no. He said why not and I said it just wouldn't happen. Ok, not my greatest answer......

So then I asked if he wanted to talk to one of these people. He said "nope. I said really? Why not?" And he said, "Well, I feel a lot better after you explained it all to me. I don't need to talk to anyone."

And that was that. For now.

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