On Wednesday morning, throughout the world, Jews blessed the sun, as it begins another 28-year cycle before it returns back to the same spot it was when it was created. I had picked the location I wanted to be, gathered those of my children who has slept at home, and shared the moment with them. I hope, 28 years from now, they will remember. When I returned home, I sent Elie a text message on his phone, afraid that he and the others, busy preparing for future patrols in the coming weeks, might forget.
When he came home later that morning, I asked him if he’d remembered and where he was.
He had returned to a base in “central Israel” the night before. This is where he’d beed stationed before the war took him near Gaza and training took him to the north. Soon, the battalion will again patrol the line that stands between Arab and Jew, until we can live in peace in this land and not need such protection.
The commanders had gone home on Monday, as had the soldiers. Only the commanders returned to the base late Tuesday night, woke early, and began their patrol. They discussed the areas where they would be, which unit would take the checkpoints, and basically synchronized future plans. Elie’s commanding officer suggested that for the blessing of the sun, they would meet at the front gate of the base.
Elie suggested a different location – at the top of a hill overlooking the whole area for miles around. All agreed and they went up there early and waited for the sun. I couldn’t have wanted more for him than that moment, surrounded by his friends, his fellow soldiers, and his land.