When your child fights in Gaza, this is how it feels

Jonathan and Daphne Orenshein do not like when an unknown number pops up on their cell phone. 

Their son, Kevin, 21, operates a tank in the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Givati unit and, as of his last report to his parents, was likely headed into a dense Gaza City neighborhood, into a place teeming with Hamas fighters who want to inflict as many casualties as possible while the IDF seeks out the terrorist group’s labyrinth of underground tunnels.

So when the phone rings, especially when it’s an unknown international number, his parents, who live in the Beverlywood neighborhood, have to wonder: Is an Israeli official calling to confirm their worst fears? Or is their son just calling home using the cell phone of an Israeli civilian? 

“Are we sleeping well?” Jonathan asked rhetorically. “No.”

A Lone Soldier who left his family, friends and home more than two years ago to endure the extreme physical and mental challenges of military life with the IDF, Kevin has made sure to stay in regular touch with his parents and his grandfather, an Israeli who served in both the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War.