Yom shlishi, 10 Tevet 5769, Asara b'Tevet.
It's night time. Tomorrow is a fast day, one of the few days each year that we remember the circumstances that led to the destruction of our Holy Temple. Which, when you think about it, led to every rotten thing that ever happened in the world. Including my Mama's diabetes. Mumbai. The current Gaza War.
Just to keep things in perspective.
Packages and treats keep appearing for the soldiers. The Dearly Beloved had to remind himself that even if they appear during the fast, the boys can eat. Soldiers at war, who get to fast on plenty of occasions when the rest of us are eating full and wonderful meals, are exempt from minor fasts.
Soldier Boy was talking about how the guys respond when the packages arrive. He received a pair of gloves and a warm hat, for which he is very grateful. He says sometimes the guys act like puppies pouncing on a good bone. I have seen that, in films; but I have also seen them sharing tee shirts with each other, finding for each other the proper sizes, in a brotherly way that brought tears to my eyes.
The nicest comment he saved for the very last few minutes of our very short phone call, before he had to "go back in."
"Ema, I always try to save the little notes. Some kid somewhere wrote that little 'love note' to an anonymous soldier... and I was lucky enough to get it. I wish they knew this: the notes are even more special to me than the food and the clothes. I hope they will keep sending them."
If you haven't had the chance yet to write your little love note to a soldier, or to donate for those precious packages, please consider contacting one or all of the following worthy organizations, with which I have been privileged to work. They will deliver them for you.
A Package From Home
"Our mission is to strengthen the spirit and resolve of each Israeli soldier, and to show our appreciation for the sacrifices they are making in securing our safety and the survival of the Jewish People. Our care packages are not only a warm reminder of the love and esteem we hold for our soldiers but also are items that they truly need."
"Connections Israel enables Jewish communities worldwide to stand united in helping to play a decisive role in improving safety, restoring normalcy, bringing a sense of gratitude to the IDF soldiers and bringing joy back to Israeli victims of terror."
"Standing Together partners with schools, synagogues and youth groups to establish a connection between Israeli soldiers and the Worldwide Jewish Community. It is so important that the soldiers know their hard work is appreciated. Whether its an email greeting for Rosh Hashana, a donut for Chanukkah, M’shloach Manot for Purim, chocolate for Pesach or barbeque for Yom HaAtzmaut, a small gesture goes a long way."
Also, please daven for our precious sons who were wounded during their struggle to protect and defend their holy people:
Dvir ben Leah
Noam ben Aliza
Li-El Hoshea ben Miriam
Nerya ben Rivka
Yitzchak ben Naava
Netanel ben Naava
Maxim ben Olga
Yisrael ben Ilana
Yoad Ido ben Freida Rivka
Idan ben Leora
Nadav ben Miriam
Raphael ben Nina
Have an easy and meaningful fast.