January 16, 2009
1. Itamar welcomes Jeff Schwartz and Steve Friedman special friends of Itamar who came to spend a few days with us this week.
2. Enjoy the picture of the beautiful winter sunset on Itamar.
3. All those that are interested in touring Itamar during the Pesach holiday should contact us by email.
4. Please read Leah’s new Torah thoughtfor Shabbat.
5. Please read letter from Mother of soldier number 2.
A Mother of a Soldier writes (part 2):
If I could I would. But I can’t. (call him)… We were sitting in a restaurant eating delicious and abundant food. Our daughter’s birthday was a great distraction from thinking about Yosef, our son in Gaza. In an abstract way, the cozy golden ambience only made me think more about him. It was actually absurd to be sitting there while he was eating the equivalent of dog food in some bombed out mosque or graphitized apartment building.We tried to eat for him. We made ourselves laugh. “I wonder how Yosef looks now”, my daughter said. “Probably he has a long beard by now.” “He has hair growing out of his ears and nostrils!” I added. Throwing in a load of laundry earlier I said to my daughter, “We’ll have to run the machine a few good times when Yosef brings his laundry home!” “Ma, get serious”, was my daughter’s reply. “By now their uniforms have mold growing on them and they are probably stiff with sweat and ice.” Ugh! It was too much to think about. On second thought, there was just something different about the sandy mud of Gush Katif. You didn’t mind being covered in it, it kind of was returned to you in a way. Soldiers were excited to wear it.
On what occasion was his last shower experience, I thought. One fine day during training, he told me that they all showered at once (no dillydallying of precious time). Do they sing military songs as they shower? I began to wonder if my son was tireless. I’m sure evenings were spent fighting the cruel war, mornings, a time to thaw in the Gaza sun. I’m just assuming because I don’t know much about anything really these days. They took his cell phone away when he entered Gaza.
Part of being an Israelite (and not just a Jew) is also dealing with the inevitable. Especially here in the Holy Land. So, my son wears a ceramic vest, helmet, heavy gun, carries all of his weight in gear on his back. He explores mazes of underground tunnels, avoids booby traps, snipers, roadside bombs and has to outsmart the enemy at every bend in the road. He’s been well trained to even punch the enemy in the face if he has to. And come to think of it, if we would have known how to throw an upper cut to some Nazi neck, history could have been re-written. But learning how to whack and blow, to smash into the enemy didn’t begin with this war but from the beginning of Jewish time. There was Abraham who fought the 5 kings, Shimon and Levi in Shechem, Joshua in Jericho, Gideon in the Shomron and David and Goliath. The list is endless! They all knew and practiced military arts in order to control and possess the most cherished places to the Jewish people.
Yosef loves to cuddle with cats and dogs. He always puts his change in the pushka (charity box) and never waits for me to say, “Take the garbage out.” He loves to draw. He was never much of a disciplined student (neither was I) but he will succeed in whatever he decides to be, a farmer, an interior designer, or even an engineer. He looks just like me too, only he has olive green eyes that match his uniform exactly. He loves to dance to trance music. He never really liked the winter but I guess that doesn’t matter. His favorite game as a child (you can only guess) was playing soldier. But now it’s not a game.
With Hashem’s help, he is crushing Amalek. When this is over finally, he will come home, have a hot bath and I’m sure, will have a lot of stories to tell!
Shabbat Shalom, Leah Goldsmith
wife of the mayor Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith of Yeshuv Itamar Shomron, website: www.friendsofitamar.org