Back in the Quiet Zone

Elie called before Shabbat to wish us a happy and peaceful Shabbat. He’ll be home next weekend. If I pass his base in the coming week, I might take him some food or something, otherwise, we’ll see him Thursday morning. Several months ago, Elie got a notice in the mail from the Motor Vehicle Department telling him that he had to take a refresher course.

This is one way that Israel attempts to battle its on-going war on the roads; one that claims even more lives than war. As a soldier, Elie couldn’t possibly attend the course so we called and explained that he was in the army. We were told to get a note from his commanding officer and then simply told to write that he was in the army.

A few weeks later, we received notification that he was given a delay of one year – still not enough time, but apparently that meant in another year we’d have to go through the request letter again. This week, Elie called to tell me he was taking a course. What course, I asked.

“Remember the driving course?” he said, and when I told hm that I did remember, he told me he was taking a course in the army.

My first thought was to ask what he had volunteered for now, what was he going to learn. “What course?” I asked with dread.

“The driving course. They’re giving it in the army.” Every few months, the army gives its drivers a refresher course and any soldier that needs to take the standard Motor Vehicle Department course can ask to take the army course and be given credit.

So Elie did complete the course, in between patrols and checkpoints. It is these little things that makes me feel like we are back in a quiet pocket of time. Of course, the last time I felt this way, Gaza heated up and there was a war, so maybe I’ll just sit back and enjoy this one and hope it lasts a good long time.

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