Elie came home a short time ago – smelly, tired, safe.
He made it into the area, was given permission to enter, a mask, a bottle of water. They assigned him to an area and though he complained, I am so happy. “They called me every 5 minutes to check,” he said. “EVERY FIVE MINUTES, but EVERY FIVE MINUTES.”
“You know why,” I said to him. In the Carmel Fire – a young Israeli, only 16 years old, did what Elie did. He heard about the fire and went to help. Elad Riven jumped on the first firetruck and ended up dying in the fire.
Israelis don’t make mistakes twice – they learn. The police cordoned off the area and only let trained people in. At first they blocked Elie, until he was cleared through. The fire was terrible; he believes it was arson – intentionally set. That is for the police to determine.
For now, I’m happy he’s home; happy he’s safe; happy the fire is under control. I’m happy Yad VaShem was not damaged, happy lives were not lost, homes were not destroyed.
I’m so happy the roller coaster has pulled back into the station – it was, really, only a little fall. Long ago, on a dark street, Elie asked me, “Don’t you trust me?“
I really did then; I really do now; I really will in the future. I’ll end this post with two comments – the first is a note of thanks to my many friends for the comfort they offered these last few hours, and the second is the conclusion of that earlier post:
I trust Elie to see to others in need. I trust that he will put safety first, as the ambulance squad taught him. Because a hurt volunteer doesn’t help anyone and adds to the burden of the whole, he’s explained to me in the past.
But I also trust that fear is not rational; that a mother cannot calmly watch her son run into a situation that might mean danger and that the mother is wrong to do anything that would make him hesitate or make him unsure. I was wrong tonight to give Elie the impression that I doubted him for even a second…and I’ll likely be wrong the next time as well. My only consolation is that Elie knows that I am wrong not out of any lack of trust, but because of a deep need to see him safe and a deeper sense of love.