There are, apparently, levels of heat, as interpreted by the army. Normal level means training as usual. The highest level of heat means the soldiers are pulled back into the bases for everything except essential training, patrolling and “real” army work.
The next highest level, as was declared this week, means that soldiers remain in the field…but aren’t allowed to train. So, Elie and his unit set up protective cover, and then got to relax and pretty much do nothing. My comment that it might get really hot next week, was met with an “I hope so” from Elie.
Like other weeks, he comes home tired and ready to eat home-cooked food. The army schedule is becoming more and more known to us. This time, he also came home with the Bible given to him by the army and a pin attached to his beret showing the symbol of his unit. A single artillery battery. The Bible is inscribed with the insignia of the army and includes a blessing for the soldiers. For Elie’s small unit, a special note was added and personally signed by his commanding officer. The note quotes the section in the Bible where the menorah, the 7-armed candelabra that was in the Holy Temple, is described.
The menorah that adorned the Holy Temple contained two sets of 3 arms branching off in opposite directions. Each arm is attached to a single arm in the center. This center piece is the strongest arm, the backbone of the menorah, and from this center piece all other branches stem.
In the meantime, it’s Friday again, Sabbath eve here in Israel and Elie is once again home. He looks wonderful. Strong, tanned, relaxed, happy. My son, the soldier.