Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Our Mother Rachel Weeps: Bring My Children Home

Yom chamishi, 21 Sivan 5774. The end of Day 6.

The mothers of Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali 
I'm listening to Ruchama Raz in the background. Her sweet voice connects me with something old in me, before my birth, that itself is connected to this Land. I'm listening to this because my husband has told me to stop listening to the news so much. (I joke with him that one of the signs of an Israeli is news addiction. So I'm a real Israeli now.)

Stunt Man comes in with a tub of kruv adom (red cabbage salad). Towering over me, he asks with absolute trust in my kitchen wisdom: "Ema, could you smell this or taste this, if you don't mind, and tell me if it seems okay to you? It smells okay to me; but I'm not sure." Dutifully I smell. Taste. "It's fine to me. I wouldn't have any problem eating it." Except for the calories I can't afford, I don't say. He takes his tall, handsome frame out the door, after giving me that gently grateful smile... full of trust.

And I get tears in my eyes, thinking of three mothers, wishing with all their hearts they could say "Yes, you can eat that." or "No, that's not good for you. Throw it out."...

אנגן שיריך... I will sing poems...

And then Sports Guy comes in. "Can you wake me up at eight tomorrow?" "You don't really need it anymore," I chide him, gently, gently, loving my "job" of being his back-up alarm. "It's okay. If you don't want to, I..." "No. It's okay. I don't mind. Just letting you know that I notice you've been getting yourself up lately." To lay tefillin and daven, sometimes in his room, before he goes back to sleep before work. Before he leaves in his olive drab uniform.

And I get tears in my eyes, thinking of young soldiers, searching for boys only slightly younger than themselves, and their mothers who send them out the door, with kisses and prayers...

 בארץ אהבתי... in the land I love...

Yeshiva Bochur drops by with laundry. "Do you mind if we come by for Shabbat dinner, Ema? It will be good to have all of the brothers home together..." All the brothers. And yes, I'll change the laundry, and hang the things that shouldn't be put in the dryer.

And I get tears in my eyes, hoping the boys -- all the brothers -- will be home for Shabbat dinner...

היו לילות, אני אותם זוכרת... There were nights, I remember them...

Soldier Boy calls me from the States, so very anxious to get back to this family, to his dear brothers, to this crazy land... He sings a song of love in his sweet, strong voice. He always makes me cry, even when there is nothing about which to cry. And I think of all the mothers who want to see their sons in the same room with them, to hear them laugh and sing, to hold them close...

And I get tears in my eyes, thinking of the prayers set to song, saying them fervently, for each and every boy and mother and every brother...

היה לי חבר היה לי אח... Be for me a friend, Be for me a brother...

Please God, bring them home. And don't let me take for granted a single day with these brothers.

I light a candle at precisely 20:30 with other mothers in Israel, praying that Hashem will rescue these boys in the merit of our Mama Rachel, and all her tears for her dear children... And then I tune back in, hoping for good news before another night of fitful sleep...



May we all share laughter and hugs and the wholeness of life and family, very, very soon.

איל בן איריס תשורה
גילעד מיכאל בן בת גלים
יעקב נפתלי בן רחל דבורה

Eyal, son of Iris Tasura
Gil-ad, son of Bat Galim
Yaacov Naftali, son of Rachel Devorah
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