Aside from an abundance of sorrow and fear after last night's terror, we're all fine in this household. I should say "thank G‑d", but it seems selfish when there's so much loss and grief all around. Do I thank G‑d that it wasn't us but someone else?

I didn't get too much sleep last night. I was up till about 1:30 am with the news. Then war dreams woke me up at 6:00 am. I went to the computer to check the news to see what other horror may have happened while I slept. Then fell back to sleep and woke up and ran to turn on the radio to catch the 7:00 am English news.

Everybody seems to grasp at something to feel more in control. The guy in the office next to me started wearing a gun to work. I have the news. Sharon has binoculars. Constantly she scans the mountains opposite our living room window. Maybe she imagines hoards of Arabs swarming over them attacking Rehovot. I guess she thinks that if she sees them when they first come over the hill, she'll be forewarned and better able to save her children. My daughter has her telephone. She calls incessantly. She is close to the action and constantly hears the bombs exploding in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Ramallah. I'm sure everybody has something or someone. I'm sure many people say Tehillim (Psalms) or their own version of prayer. Lots of people just stay home. Home is their security. If they don't go out, then nothing can happen to them. Maybe some even hide under the covers.

It's not only control that's sought. Or at least that I seek. It's looking for a way to participate. Even though others are dying, it's still happening to you. With 9/11 it was one nation. In Israel, it's one family. Our Jewishness has bound us. True blood brothers and sisters. It's never felt so clear.

How to participate? Staying glued to the news at least is a way not to abandon those who are bleeding. "I'm with you. I'm still awake watching the pictures of you being wheeled into the emergency room. Watching the 50th rerun of your blood on the floor of the hotel lobby — the large seeping pool next to the little toy car that was left behind. Was that your baby carriage? Will you ever get it back?"

I watch and admire the triage doctor as he hugs two girls walking dazed from the ambulance to the hospital. I love him for giving them the hug I can't. I watch as he lays his hand on the shoulder of the bleeding man on the stretcher. Who is this doctor? He deserves a medal. Can't you see? He's me. It's me greeting these people at the hospital. I'm reaching through the TV set with my heart and using this doctor's arms to provide comfort. To give hope. I'm using his mouth to tell this young child who's crying that it will be okay. Really. I promise. It will be okay. Won't it?

I killed one of the terrorists in Netanya. It felt good. I watched one of the policemen do it on TV. But it was me. Oh how I wanted it to be me.

I can't keep the news from the kids any more. I can't protect them from the sight of blood. At the kiosk near their school the front pages of the newspapers are covered with photos of the newly dead, the blood-spattered cars. Bombs, bullets and blood seem such a part of life that it seems irresponsible of me to keep them sheltered. I'm not sure I should anymore. I don't want it in their life, but it's there. It's a daily part. Learn to live with it, kid. Your parents brought you here. These are the facts of life.

The facts of life. Am I ready for the facts of life? Did mom and dad prepare me for war? Did I ever in my wildest dreams think I would be living through war? That I would be hunted for being a Jew? That barbarians would roam my streets looking for babies to devour? Are you ready for this? I'm not. No one taught me about this. Am I supposed to figure this out by myself? Am I supposed to know what to answer when my daughter tells me she's going to Jerusalem with her friends?

Don't go. You might be... G‑d forbid. Do I have a right to fill her with this much fear? Should we lock the door and never go out? Can I grab her and put her in her room and close the shades? Forever? If I can’t yet take the car keys away from her, can I at least hide her sneakers?

How petty. There are fathers who today have no daughters. Yesterday they had daughters but today they don't. Am I supposed to thank G‑d that it was their daughters? Can I thank G‑d for my daughter without thinking about their daughters so I don't have to feel guilty?

Was that your daughter? The one who was sitting next to the young man whose leg was in tatters? I saw her. She's okay. It was only the guy that was hurt. Thank G‑d? Well, actually, I'm sorry to tell you she was hysterical. In shock I think. But she wasn't bleeding. Only he was bleeding. She was shedding only tears instead of blood. Who was he anyway? Her boyfriend? Do you know him? Do you like him? He's probably in the hospital now. One of those listed as lightly injured.

(Can you imagine the others?)

There was another young man. He was in the ambulance and he was crying. I couldn't see any blood. But he couldn't stop crying. Then, all of sudden he stopped. He tried to pull himself together and he stopped crying for a moment. Then, within seconds his eyes went wide — wild — he saw something — then quickly he brought his hands to cover his eyes, screamed, and began crying again. What did he see? What image is burned into his brain to forever stalk his dreams? Will he ever be able to erase the horror? Maybe it was he who told the newspaper that he saw someone scattered on the floor but the only body part he could recognize was the head. Maybe that's what he saw when his eyes went wide and his hands tried to erase an unerasable image from his mind. How many times will he scream in his lifetime from now on?

I stayed with you all for as long as I could. But in the end it wasn't me. I wasn't the doctor nor the policeman. I wasn't the hysterical mother. I wasn't one of the bearded guys picking up body parts for burial. I was just a lucky guy sitting on my bed watching the news. I was able to turn it all off and climb under my covers with only my dreams to plague me. I slept until the morning and reconnected with your horror at my convenience: listening to the radio while I drank my tea. Reading the paper and looking at the gruesome photos on the train to work. Checking into the news on the internet when I should have been working. I was one of the lucky ones who sent my kids off to school.

Thank G‑d.