DebbieWinks – Debbie’s Blog from Israel # 12

We would like to create a separate distribution list for Debbie’s blog. Please reply if you would like to be on the list.
Thank you.

DebbieWinks — Blog #12 — December, 2023


This week I had the great privilege to be at our daughter Sivan’s side as she delivered a beautiful baby boy at Laniado Hospital in Netanya.

Sivan was pregnant and in her third trimester as the October 7th 2023 ‘Black Sabbath’ massacre changed our Israeli and Jewish reality forever.  Despite this devastating event that incited war, Sivan was called to duty to honor the importance of keeping calm to guard the sacred one that was growing within.

Since October 7th I spent most of my time with Sivan and her husband Lishay and their two young boys Yaakov and Natan. They live in the town of Harish. Harish is situated east of Caesaria and northeast of Hadera. It is a new town with many neighboring Arab villages. Prayers from the nearby mosques are heard loud and clear several times a day and during the very early hours of the morning.  Many a night I would have to bury my head into my pillow and block my ears to muffle the triggering PTSD sounds. I often thought about the god that they are praying to, and for what they are praying.

A women’s circle was held in our daughter’s home a few weeks before the birth.  It is a deeply spiritual experience as candles are lit by each participant who then invites into the circle either a righteous sage or a family member to be remembered and honored. Sivan sat on the floor on a cushion, elevated by the blessings abound that were given to her. These were blessings given to strengthen her faith that she can deliver her baby.

While supporting my daughter in the delivery room as she squeezed my hands hard experiencing the labor pains, I felt the aura in the room of miraculous powers.  The two midwives present were incredible in creating the safe, skilled, and sacred space to help Sivan give birth.

I Savta (grandmother), Rachel Devora cut the umbilical cord.

Throughout the delivery, Sivan remained strong and focused, smiling many times, ushering in the intense incoming contractions. Sivan was fiercely connected to her unwavering faith in Hashem and to her innate ability to deliver her baby boy.

This baby boy was born safely at 3:50 am on Monday, December 18th. He was entangled by his umbilical cord but Baruch Hashem (Thank God) one of the calm and astute midwives competently unraveled it.

In just a few days we will have the ‘Brit Milah’ (circumcision), the ancient ritual that our Jewish religion performs that unites the baby boy to the covenant of Abraham.

We are all indeed bound and bonded to many grand rituals, entangled experiences and to miraculous rites of passage as life is granted, and as life is taken.

May we continue to rejoice in the miracle of birth. Amen.

Rachel Devora


Debbie Winks 😊


  1. Sidney Shmilovitch

    Mazel Tov, Mazel Tov! Such a joyous occasion! Much love to the new little one and best wishes to all the family for good health and happiness, always. Much love, Dan and Sidney.

  2. Mazel tov on the baby, Deb! May they all thrive! Thanks for sharing a glimpse into the beautiful life you all have there and sorry about the morning prayers I couldn’t hack that either ugh. A test of tolerance now for sure! Keep safe and healthy. Sending love.