Thank you, Edith
My son came home from Gaza just a few minutes ago. He came home as we had sent him
off, only more tired, worn and dirty. Thank you Hashem for bringing him home. To his
wife, his brothers and sisters and his loving brood of nieces and nephews. All of us have
been waiting patiently these past three weeks to hold him in our arms.
I pulled in front of his apartment, a few kilometers from my home, and as we descended
the steps I heard him speak gently and lovingly with his wife at work, telling her how
anxious he was to see her. He turned on the boiler and laughingly told me "I'm not getting
out of this shower for the next hour." The bags fell to the floor and he leaned against the
kitchen counter to untie his boots swiftly flinging them aside and letting his bare feet rest
on the tile floor. He was exhausted and I hesitated to start with the barrage of questions
that had been streaming through my head every day, every hour for these past few weeks.
He smiled as he opened the bag of goodies and told me about the elementary school
children from Mevasseret Zion who had attached notes with their gifts. He spoke with
three of them to thank them personally. One child wrote a three page letter and the
soldiers in my son's unit were grateful to learn more of this 8-year old's daily life, his
favorite subjects and his fondness for playstation. When they called to speak with him, he
was overwhelmed and kept calling them "gibborim" heroes.
"Ima" he said, "I'm tired now, but I have to tell you how extraordinary this nation is. The
children who wrote to us, the people who sent their good wishes with their packages of
food, the businesses that sent truckloads of goods. The soldiers I served with, each one
caring deeply about the other one. Zahal who made sure that we were well trained and
well equipped for our mission. But mostly. Mostly.
This was a war that was guided by the Hand of G'd. Everyday we felt His presence -- whether deciding to enter a building by smashing down the back wall rather than entering
through the front door, only to discover that the front door had been booby trapped, or
searching rooms in a house and uncovering a tunnel under a bed we had lifted where tens
of Hamas terrorists were hiding in the hopes of kidnapping one of us, or dozens more
I looked at this child's face and saw the extraordinary young man he had become. Filled
with faith. Feeling a passion for those values that have held this nation together for
thousands of years. And, his very presence. His very modesty. His deep felt pride at
being part of this nation. All of this wrapped around my heart and left me humbled.
Humbled and grateful.
"And I will lift up my eyes unto the mountains, from where my strength will come."
From: Ilene Bloch-Levy, Shaarei Tikvah.