Elie came home this past weekend relaxed and happy, only to find a house that was very pressured. The week had been long and hard and there were many things going on. Something with the car broke; we were having company; I’d worked late the night before and hadn’t had time to do anything to prepare for the coming Shabbat or Elie’s weekend at home.
Elie dived right in to help, his brothers helped, his youngest sister hung up the laundry. Elie and his father fixed the car. It all got done. We were all exhausted and grateful to have the coming 25 hours to rest. But, as happens at the worst of times, Elie’s little sister became sick over night with a fever, stomach ache and headache.
In the afternoon, hoping to make her feel better, I made her a cup of tea. It’s a special tea known to help stomach cramps, but it was too hot to drink. I asked Elie to bring me some cold water and he suggested an ice cube would work faster. He went to the freezer, took out a tray, removed an ice cube, took aim, and threw the ice cube across the room…right into the cup of tea.
“I can’t believe you did that.” I was shocked. “How did you do that?” Could he really have aimed that tiny ice cube and thrown it such a distance so accurately?
“That’s what I do,” Elie said with an endearing smile, “I aim.”
Yes, that’s part of what he does in the army. He aims and “gets” his target. Still having trouble believing, I questioned him a little further. Elie walked over to the flowers on the counter and pointed to the tiniest one. “I can hit this from 100 meters,” he said. “To the eye of a person, not the whole face, if I have to,” he finished.
And then I realized what he meant. Imagine a terrorist holding a hostage. Imagine knowing that this terrorist would rather die than give up the hostage to safety. Imagine him using the hostage as a human shield. Imagine knowing that the only way to save the hostage, was to shoot the terrorist, whose head was so close.
“That’s what I do,” Elie said – and I realized once again that for all the wonderful things Elie is experiencing in the army, for all the growing that he is doing and the new things he is learning, there is a serious side to it all.
This was a week that saw a bomb blow up in Dimona. In the cruelest of acts, two terrorists were dispatched to this small southern city. The first killed himself, murdering an elderly woman, critically injuring her husband, and wounding dozens of others. One of the wounded was the second terrorist who had a plan to wait until a new crowd gathered before setting off his explosives.
Within seconds of the first blast, people rushed in to help. A doctor approached the second terrorist who was laying on the ground, thinking to help him. As the doctor opened the terrorist’s jacket, he saw the explosives strapped to the man’s body. He and others screamed warnings as everyone ran from the area. Those who could not run, the wounded, lay on the ground close to the second terrorist.
As others ran away in fear, a brave police chief approached. Officer Kobi Mor saw the wounded terrorist reach for the wire to explode the second bomb. He crouched down within meters of the terrorist, took aim and shot the terrorist in the head. The terrorist was stopped from setting off the second explosion that would likely have killed others (at least the wounded who lay around the terrorist).
“That’s what I do,” Elie said to me, “I aim.” Sometimes, the ability to aim can be funny and cute as it was when Elie threw an ice cube across the room, and sometimes, it can be deadly serious. The army gives them the skills. The army teaches them when to use it. Because Kobi Mor had that skilled, many lives were saved this week.
May the families of the dead and wounded in Dimona find comfort in the caring and speedy actions of the rescuers and doctors, and may they know no more sorrow.