Sunday, February 27, 2011

A New Day in Our Israel

Paula R. Stern
A Soldier's Mother
25 February '11

It's Friday morning in Israel. I need to get moving to finish cleaning the house and preparing for the Sabbath, which begins tonight. My oldest daughter is sleeping a short distance away in the home she makes with her husband. My youngest daughter got up this morning, I made her lunch, and she caught the bus to school a few minutes ago. My daughters amaze me. I look at them and understand that it is through the strength of the Jewish woman that our nation survived. They are grace and beauty and sensitivity...and since I'm completely impartial, it must be true, right?

That leaves my sons.

My oldest is upstairs, asleep. Elie. I couldn't even begin to find the words for what I feel for him. He's at a hard point in his life; harder even than the army. The army was a part of the road he had to take. I knew, growing up, that I would go to university in America. It was inevitable. Elementary school, junior high school, high school, university. Here in Israel, it is a bit different, in that last place, they have army. So going to the army is as inevitable as university was for me.

There is no choice, no wondering if there is a different path. It is accepted, expected, inevitable. Elie flew through the army in so many ways. It wasn't easy for him, but he simply took each challenge and truly made the best of it. He let the army shape him because he liked what was being formed. Now, as they warned him would happen, he doesn't have the structure, the routine, and so he is struggling to find the path, to know that he has taken the correct road. I keep wondering if he will go back into the army, if that would be best for him. He keeps saying no and yet the army remains a vibrant part of him.

(Read full "A New Day in Our Israel")

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