WNYT.com

Local family reacts to ceasefire

Posted at: 11/21/2012 11:23 PM
By: Jessica Layton

On this Thanksgiving Eve,  Rabbi Yaakov Kellman is busy in his situation room as he calls it. With two computers and several cell phones, he's closely monitoring the situation in Israel, where a ceasefire with Hamas has been in place for a few hours.

"That's not a very long time, things are very shaky right now," said Rabbi Kellman.

As the the Executive Director of the Jewish Educational Resources of New York, Rabbi Kellman's job is to keep people informed.  

"There's a lot of wounds there," Rabbi Kellman said.

As a father, he's naturally concerned for his kids who are in Tel Aviv, where violence intensified just before the ceasefire deal was reached. Twenty-one year old daughter Atara is studying at Bar Ilan University. And his son, 27 year old Ayal lives in Tel Aviv there with his wife and their six month old daughter.

We spoke with Ayal via Skype Wednesday afternoon. He described what it's been like to hear the hurling of rockets through the city. The anxiety of hoping his own loved ones make it to the shelter each time the sirens ring out. He's encouraged by the ceasefire, but says he isn't convinced it will last.

  "As history has proven Hamas as a terrorist organization has used ceasefire to their advantage to re-arm themselves," Ayal said.

Rabbi Kellman says if Hamas violates the deal, 30-thousand Israeli troops are at the ready. Though he compared the ceasefire to a bandaid. He also knows sometimes a bandaid is what helps the healing begin.  

"I really want to believe peace can come to the Holy Land," he said.