DebbieWinks – Debbie’s Blog from Israel # 10

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DebbieWinks — Blog #10 — October, 2023

Dear Readers,

I had lots of plans in this blog post to announce a podcast that I wanted to launch with the help of our oldest son Oz who was scheduled to arrive on October 26th accompanied by his Aba, father Yossi.

On Saturday October 7th unfathomable heinous attacks happened here in southern Israel, launching a war by the despicable evil hands of Hamas.

We are all in utter shock as we begin to process the unsurmountable grief, feel the sheer anger, and weep the agony of our collective hearts that have been ripped open.

On Monday October 9th my loving son in law Lishay Ifrach and our daughter Sivan bought me a beautiful siddur in turquoise with my Hebrew name engraved on it: Rachel Devora Havusha.

I feel that I am no longer Debbie Havusha.

I am Rachel Devora Havusha praying from this siddur daily and reciting the teheeleem (psalms) in an altered Jewish state of consciousness. Never did I pray this hard in Hebrew and that the words would penetrate so deeply and pierce my heart and soul.

How can it be that on Thursday, October 5th I drove on the train with my husband Yossi to Ben Gurion Airport after a fun day we had with our grandchildren. I was feeling so excited that Yossi would return in 3 weeks with our oldest son Oz who has not been to Israel since his dear grandmother Savta Evelyn z”l passed away almost 10 years ago.

Savta Evelyn claimed that she lived in civil harmony with her Arab neighbors in Iran during the Shah’s power but exited in 1964 quickly to come to Israel in safety with her family of 6 children and a sick husband. This was after the Ayatollah came to power. She often told her grandchildren that she always wanted Israel to be forever strong since she feared that this kind of war might happen. My mother-in-law, a blessed eternal memory was a woman of profound simple faith in “Eloheem” and had great pride in her Jewish existence.

And now, our Jewish pride wounded to the core has been awakened stronger than ever as we are united to fight for our existence in a battle that is unprecedented.

I find myself like Dr. Micah Goodman says, living a cocktail of emotions ranging from horror, shock, rage, fear, grief and then to feel a sense of altruistic pride to be helping others and having a profound purpose.

These days I am feeling existential enjoyment from just having a good shower at the end of a long never-ending day and eating a good meal with my family. I love playing with my grandchildren which brings me to my happy place only to be horrifically reminded at night of the pogroms that affected 20 villages and the recent brutal slaughtering of young people at a party in the forest. We are all reeling in agony at the thoughts of what is happening with the kidnapped. This surreal yet real reality invites the frightening thoughts of the faces of evil that might face more innocent men women and children in Israel and beyond.

I am staying with our daughter Sivan who is 7 months pregnant and her two little boys Yaakov 3.5 and Natan 19 months old since Yossi is not here.

Natan is one of our sweet innocent grandchildren who loves airplanes and detects their sounds up in the sky and looks up. I must put on an act of glee to confirm his perspective of innocent findings in the sky.

Natan’s older brother Yaakov in the photo above is in my arms sleeping in peace.

May we continue to find solace and support in our collective trauma and rise above like the airplanes that our sweet Natan sees.

May all the women and men in the Israel Defense Forces be protected and guided as they embark on a war that requires herculean heavenly human efforts.


Yours in mighty prayer,

Rachel Devora Havusha

Debbie Winks 😊



  1. Lisa Estrin Yeoman

    Yes please put me on your blog list <3
    Thank you Rachel Devorah Havusha, for putting into words what we are all feeling. This is a heart shattering and dark time. May we see light in the midst of the darkness. May we be able to see the beauty and wonder that children and grandchildren
    I'm sending you so much love and big hugs. Until we see each other again…
    Lisa Estrin Yeoman

  2. Hi Debbie.
    Love to get your blog.
    Regards to your kids and stay safe.
    All the best.
    Morah Ahuva.

  3. Hi Debbie
    Hoping for you and your family to be safe.
    May Ashem protect the soldiers and people of Israelat these difficult times.
    Yes, please add me to you blog’s list.
    I truly enjoy your stories!

  4. Debora
    thank u for meeting us for a wonderful lunch in Sarona.recently.
    Who would have suspected that such horors would.occur the following week!! Sending Brachot for a speedy and victorious end to this nightmare. May you your family and Am Israel be safe.
    please add me to your wonderful blog distribution list

  5. Our collective hearts are broken – Please include me on the separate blog. Sending love to you Rachel DevoraThank you for sharing your strength. Xox

  6. Dearest Rachel Devora

    Please include me on your blog, I love reading your messages so informative and full of wisdom.

  7. Yes,Rachel Devora Havusha. I would like to be on the list for your blog. I pray that you and your family will continue to be safe. I pray for Israel, our homeland!!!

  8. Dear Rachel Devora,
    Toda for putting so eloquently into words what we are all collectively feeling in these very dark days.
    Continue to breathe in positive strength galvanized by your deep faith.
    Thinking of you and your family and the community.

    With deepest hopes for continued strength and an end to this madness.