One of my Facebook friends asked that question and I posted an answer. I slept the first night I knew Elie was at war...I had no choice, I was exhausted, my eyes burned with tears, as they do now. I just couldn't stay up and I couldn't go to sleep, like right now.
I told her that that first night, I slept holding my phone, terrified that Elie might actually have a chance to call and I wouldn't wake up. He sent me a text message at 2:30 a.m. - I still remember it, word for word.
I texted him back, telling me to call when he could. A few minutes later, he called and I answered right away. We spoke a few minutes and then I heard a massive boom. I think the phone shook.
I was shocked at the force, the loudness of the boom and asked Elie what it was. He laughed a bit and said it wasn't even his cannon that had fired but one several meters away.
It was so good to speak to him, to know he was okay. We talked a bit and then closed the phone. I don't remember the rest of that night; I must have slept. For the next few weeks, sleep was something I hated because I had this ridiculous feeling, as I do right now, that so long as I know what is happening, things are okay.
How does a mother sleep when her son is at war? Even in sleep your son will be with you; you'll wake with him on your mind, he'll be there all day long and when you need to sleep, he'll be in your heart.
The other thing I will tell you is that you have to find your balance, what is right for you. You can listen to the news every second, as I did and as I am doing now, or you can shut it down. We all know bad news will come whether you will listen for it or not and the only good news you're likely to hear in the coming days is the few calls hopefully your son can make to you.
He may sound completely exhausted. I remember one day talking to Elie. I think it was on a Wednesday. He was slurring his words; he was more tired than I had ever heard before. I agonized over each word he said until late the next afternoon when I just felt I had to talk to him again.
I tried his number, not expecting him to answer - mostly, they can't...but he did answer and he sounded wonderful. I asked him what had happened and he explained that his commanding officer had ordered him to sleep while another soldier handled both Elie's task and his own. Then Elie was awakened to handle both tasks - and thus it went. It takes a bit of time until they learn the best ways...
And he will tell you, as much as he can, of the faith of those around him. They are strong, motivated, blessed.
How can you sleep? By closing your eyes and asking God to take over the weight of the world from your shoulders. By finding within you the power to believe that at this moment, your son is okay. Don't worry about tomorrow; don't even worry about an hour from now. Believe he is okay and sleep.
May God give you the strength you'll need in the coming days. May God watch over your son, all our sons in the coming minutes, hours, days and even weeks.
Israel has, once again, gone to war. Depending on how you count it, I believe it is my third...or fourth...or even fifth. How many times can we do this?
The answer has always been the same - as many times as we have to.
May God bless the men and women of the Israel Defense Forces - in the air, on the sea, on land. May He watch over them as only the Protector of Israel can.