Monday, June 23, 2014

swirling thoughts #229 Am Yisrael Chai

dear boys,

like every single Jew i pray for your immediate and safe return.

but even when that prayer is answered (please Gd!), you will have missed out, because of your captivity, on simply experiencing the world through your senses these last many days. i wish to share that sensory experience with you so that it’s not as if you missed it all. because for us, you are here, breathing the same air. why shouldn’t you see, smell, feel, taste and hear all that’s been going on outside............

i see.
i see glimpses of the heavenly sparks that reside in the souls of my friends and neighbors – as we greet each other with a knowing look and take leave of each other, somewhat strengthened from the shared emotion, eyes filled with prayer and hope.

i see chayalim.
chayalim from the tzafon. chayalim from the darom. chayalim from the merkaz. chayalim with optimistic smiles and, maybe because of their young age, a tender demeanor that i recognize from my own children.

i see degel yisrael.
i see our roads and our tachanot decorated with our proud flag. many, many flags. speaking of tachanot, every local bus stop/trempiada is adorned with hand painted murals proclaiming “Am Yisrael Chai”.  

i see you.
pictures of you and your full hebrew names. i see you on facebook. i see you in the newspaper. i see you at ma’arat hamachpela. i see you at the kotel. i see you outside rami levy and i see you at the matnas.  all over israel there are photos, beautiful photos capturing your happiest smiles, and a degel yisrael with your faces imposed on it has been created to let the world know there is no separating the jewish people from three of its boys. or maybe it was created as a welcome home banner. in any case, you’ll see that for yourself, soon enough, please Gd.

i smell the smell of bar-b-q.
last night soldiers camped out in the local branches of b’nei akiva and ezra, welcomed by everyone. people just wanting to strengthen this team of brothers that is searching the judean hills day and night for you, their brothers. and also we get strength from them.

i feel the warm embrace of am yisrael and jews abroad.
while physically i feel real embraces -  from my smallest to biggest child (not wanting to miss an opportunity to hold them close) and from each friend i see as we busy ourselves with activities we pray will prove meaningful in bringing about your return. activities including communal prayer. supplying the pina chama. raising the overall level of chesed in our lives to, please Gd, effect a change in this harsh decree.

i taste tears.
this will probably continue even after you return but i welcome those tears – tears reminiscing how we longed for your return. you were torn from your mothers’ arms but we are all mothers. you are, each of you, a precious pikadon on this earth from haKadosh Baruch Hu. our purpose is one with your mothers who were initially charged with guarding and raising you.  bringing you back is the only thing. for each one of us.

and i hear.
of all the senses, hearing is the one most fraught with the sort of incongruous emotions we are experiencing all at once. i hear my children playing while i recite tehillim through tears. i hear soldiers greeting each other and greeting local residents and it has the feeling of the first day of summer camp – the excitement and the uncertainty. later i hear sirens. sometimes total silence. we go to sleep and wake up to the relentless dull hum of drones scouring the hilltops and the wadis for signs of you. there are noises of life as usual – construction equipment chipping away at bedrock, ice-cream truck jingles signaling the start and finish of school, cars beeping, and smachot – graduations, weddings, britot, bar mitzvahs – each containing tefilot for your immediate and safe return.

the smachot feel surreal. but they continue as a testament, please Gd, to your return to the cycle of life – graduations, weddings, britot, bar mitzvahs.  and to all the sensory experiences they entail.

lisa m.

chayalim – soldiers
tzafon – north
darom – south
mercaz – central israel
degel yisrael – the israeli flag
tachanot – bus stops/hitchhiking posts
trempiada – hitchhiking post
Am Yisrael Chai – the nation of israel lives
ma’arat hamachpela – cave of the patriarchs
kotel – western wall
rami levy – a supermarket franchise in israel
matnass – local community center
b’nei akiva & ezra – youth group movements
pina chama – a volunteer run cafe for soldiers to stop in for home-baked goodies, coffee or slushie 
chesed – acts of kindess
pikadon – something on loan
haKadosh Baruch Hu - Hashem
tehillim - psalms
smachot – happy celebrations
britot – circumcision celebrations
tefilot - prayers