Rabbi Avram and Leah Herzog of Fair Lawn are the aunt and uncle of two nephews who live in Israel. They are the sons of Rabbi Herzog’s sister, Zehavah Bigman, who made aliyah with her husband, Joel, more than 30 years ago.
Both of the nephews have completed their IDF service. Both are married; the older one at 32, has four children, and the younger one, 26, has a baby.
Both, like most Israeli men their age, are in the reserves.
Now, both have been activated. “Their whereabouts are unknown,” Rabbi Herzog said. “When reservists are called up they are not allowed to tell anybody where they are. We are worried and proud at the same time.” Those words sound hackneyed, he said, but they are accurate nonetheless.
He talks to his sister often, Rabbi Herzog said. “She is coping, as an Israeli copes. Life goes on. You continue with your life ““ but you are constantly wondering where your children are.”
The younger children don’t know enough to worry”“ and the babies don’t worry at all ““ but the older children, 6 and 9 years old, “know that there is a war, and they just want their daddy to come home,” Rabbi Herzog said.