Moselle Yulish, who grew up in Beachwood, woke up on Oct. 7 to the sound of sirens and the harsh realities of war, when Hamas launched the attack on Israel.
“It was just sheer and utter shock and horror because, at that point, it was still very faceless,” said 29-year-old Yulish. “We weren’t hearing the personal stories of this individual family and this individual house. It was a mass attack on a community.”
But for Yulish, a 2013 graduate of Beachwood High School and a 2017 graduate of Ohio State University, the brutality of the attack soon hit home, when she learned that one of the victims was an 18-year-old friend who had been tortured and murdered by Hamas.
“I found out on the way to the funeral that the body had been so destroyed and disfigured, they’d only been able to identify her by DNA,” she said.
Moselle Yulish says she moved from Greater Cleveland to Israel as part of a personal calling to the Jewish Homeland.
After serving in the Israeli army, she accepted a job at a tech firm in Tel Aviv, where she and her fiancé now live.
She says they initially planned to stay in Israel, in spite of the war with Hamas.
“We felt that it was important that we were still there, not just in terms of solidarity and nationalism, it’s also our life. We work there, we live there,” she said.
But that feeling changed when Hezbollah began launching rocket attacks from Lebanon, creating a two front war, and the couple’s apartment is now within striking distance of the missiles.
“It would be different if we had a bomb shelter in our apartment or in our building, but we don’t really have any form of protection,” she said.
That’s when Yulish and her fiancé decided that, for the time being, it would be wise to return to the U.S., where they are now staying with her relieved parents in Beachwood.
However, she says there are feelings of guilt about leaving Israel.
“We felt we had to protect ourselves, but also of course selfishly enjoy not living in a war zone, where you’re having rockets shot at you,” she said.
Yulish watches news about the war in Israel very closely and has strong feelings about those calling for Israeli restraint and a ceasefire.
“We didn’t ask for this, we didn’t start this and so we’re supposed to just sit there and say ‘that’s it, we leave it like this?’ I don’t think so,” she said.
Moselle Yulish says she and her fiancé plan to return to Israel, but only when they are convinced that their lives are not in jeopardy as a result of the war.