First Hand Account from Ashkelon: Living Under Rocket Fire

The following article was written by Orli Avior. Bill Rudge was able to spend time with her and her husband and holocaust survivor Moshe Shamir on his last trip to the Holy Land in February of 2018.

by Orli Avior, correspondent for the Winnipeg Jewish Review in Ashkelon November 21, 2019

Between Nov 12-Nov 14, over 450 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza. I live in Ashkelon in Southern Israel and I finally getting a whole night’s sleep now that the rockets have stopped coming in. Gaza loves to send a lot of rockets in the middle of the night when you get a rude awakening from the sirens and have to jump out of bed and run to a safe area.

But, I am one of the lucky ones who only has to go across the hall to a safe room in our apartment. Others have to go to a stairwell of a multi-story building or a small safe building outside of their apartment building or house.  I do feel sorry for parents whose children are already frightened enough from the siren and now the parents have to schlep them out of their beds to a safe area.

One of the rockets from the latest barrage hit a little too close to home on the afternoon of 13 Nov.  As my husband Ariel and I were in the safe room we heard a large boom and knew it sounded very close.  We went out on the balcony of our 7th floor apt and saw the black smoke rising from an area I know three of my friends live in.  I immediately phoned one of them to see if they were okay. My friend Shirley told me that she was fine but that the debris from the hit was all over her courtyard.  My friend Loraine was pretty shaken up as she felt the vibration in her floor and the explosion was so loud it gave her such a fright she felt her heart racing for quite a while. My friend Yoanna told me that no one in the area has a safe room and the bomb shelter was too far for most of the people get to it in time, so they normally just hide in their bathrooms. 

Within minutes of the hit I could see the emergency vehicles heading over that way.  It is impressive how the IDF and civilian authorities worked together with such efficiency.  Thankfully only one senior citizen was injured from shattered glass and shock.

After so many rockets being fired into Israel I got a little tired of reading the news about the Israeli government talking to Hamas about a cease fire that everyone knows means we cease and they fire (a least a few more rockets).  You know they always have to have the last word. 

Now the question is when will the next round of rockets will rain down on this country again.

Reflecting On God’s Faithfulness

by BJ Rudge, Ph.D.

The children of Israel in the Old Testament are a great example of why we should reflect upon God’s faithfulness in the past. Whenever they faced a challenge they were reminded to go back and reflect on God who had proven in the past to be greater than any situation they presently faced (see Deuteronomy 5:15; 7:18; 15:15; Joshua 4:19-24; 24:6-13). In fact, this is the reason why the Israelites were to observe the Passover, which was to be a reminder of how God delivered them out of Egyptian bondage (Exodus 12:14-17).

I utilize a prayer journal to help me remember God’s faithfulness. All of us know how easy it is to forget things so I started writing things down in my journal. It is encouraging to reflect on past requests and to see how God has responded. Sometimes God did not answer in the way I thought He would, nor in the time frame I wanted, but in each case I am reminded that I serve a God who listens and responds to the needs of His children (Psalm 34:17; Matthew 7:7; John 14:13-14; Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 5:14-15).

I cannot tell you how many times I have gone back to my prayer journal and been amazed at how God has worked in my life. For example, one of the greatest challenges my family had to endure was going through a miscarriage. My prayer journal helped me during that time, as I reflected upon how God brought us through other challenges. What a faithful God we serve (Psalm 36:5; 89:1; Lamentations 3:22-23; 1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:3).

Inspire Your Generation…

by Bill Rudge

Following in Moses’ footprints after his death, Joshua’s example of dedication to the Lord inspired his generation. Joshua’s influence was felt not only during his lifetime, but for years after his death.

This profound statement is recorded in Joshua 24:31:

Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua ….

May our example and the testimony we bear motivate our children and grandchildren to live for the Lord all the days of our lives and their lives. And may they, in turn, influence their children and grandchildren to also serve the Lord after we are gone.