“Where do you want to be buried?”

This is not a question that mothers are supposed to need to ask their children. Over the past nine years, as an active reservist, I was always aware of the possibility that Israel would find itself at war and that we would be called upon. But even in my darkest nightmares, I could never have fathomed the events of October 7th.

Hamas terrorists deliberately and brutally murdered over a thousand civilians, including women, children, elderly – even infants. The streets of Gaza echoed with harrowing scenes: jubilant celebrations by the people of Gaza of these heinous acts, some of whom, by Hamas’s own admission, had participated in them. There were heart-wrenching videos of beaten and bloodied kidnapped Israeli teenagers being led around the streets by their hair. The victims all had only one thing in common: they were, or were believed to be, Israeli.

These actions demand a response. We, the soldiers of the IDF, are the ones who must respond, and I am among them. As a result, last week at JFK airport, my mother, through her tears, asked me if I would want to be buried in America or Israel as we said goodbye to each other before my flight to Israel to join my unit.