A wonderful 24 hours with Dov
August 01, 2006Yesterday morning we received a phonecall from Dov that he had suddenly been given 24 hours leave, and he was already on his way heading south, so I dropped everything, got into the car and drove north. We met up half way [at Tzomet Golani - a major junction 15 minutes west of Tiberius, 30 minutes east of Haifa, 45 minutes south of Tzfat] and drove back down to Netanya.
The next 24 hours were just wonderful. Seeing him, listening to him, talking to him. Basically just being with him.
Later I picked up Michali and Benzion [who started walking this week!] from her parent's home in Yad Binyamin [5 minutes from Yavne] so we were all together in Netanya. When Benzion saw his Daddy for the first time in 8 days [an eternity for a 13 month old] - and noch in an unfamiliar army uniform [3
sizes too large], he was a bit hesitant, but once he realised who he was, he didn't want to leave go!
We all went out for a light meal in Netanya's popular square, which was packed with locals and tourists alike. It is actually quite amazing that life continues as normal in a city like Netanya, which is only 40 minutes drive from the Haifa / Tiberius road, north of which close to 2 million residents spend all night, and most of the day in shelters! [Remember, just the previous day, over 100 dealy katyusha rockets landed in Kiryat Shmona!]
But alas the morning came all too soon and it was time to say a tearful goodbye. It was a lot more difficult for Judith watching Dov leave this morning from Netanya than it was when he was mobilised last week from his home in Kerem BeYavne and she said goodbye to him on the phone [I was still in London]. The worst is not knowing when we'll see him next.
On the radio, as I drove Dov to his bus, we heard that thousands of ground troops were already actively engaged in fighting across the border - supported by artillery fire, so we silently knew that he was going to be "busy" as soon as he rejoined his unit, and any thoughts of an early cease-fire and a quick return home were unrealistic.
To finish on a positive tone. Israel as a country, has seldom been so united as it is today - politically and socially. And this on the anniversary of the Gush Katif "hitnatkut" (disengagement), after which many of us feared that the deep rifts would never heal. Halevai that this Achdut serves us well as we prepare for Tisha Ba'Av tomorrow night.