Last night, we got an email from the yishuv at about 6 pm that said, “Soldiers are on their way for dinner! Get into your kitchens and get ready to welcome them.” And two hours later, the 80-100 soldiers piled out of their buses, tired and hungry.
And boy were they fed.
Someone in the yishuv had ordered pizza for them, and there was popcorn and soda, pasta and chips and on and on and on.
And we mingled with the soldiers, thanking them and watching them relax for a bit.
Before they went back into the field.
To find our boys.
And I went home wiping the tears from my face with the image in my mind of these young boys of ours out there, searching for their peers and hoping desperately that they will find them.
And tonight, at about 6, the message went out again. “Let’s do it again everyone! Another group of soldiers is coming tonight.”
And so, we ran to the grocery store to make vegetable platters and to buy drinks. And we gathered the kids together in their pajamas to hand out falafel, soup, pasta, cookies, drinks....
Boy did my boys smile at them.
And we fed them, and talked. And the soldiers laughed and hung out.
And when their buses left, we ran alongside them and waved and thanked them.
Not one soldier appears to wonder why he’s doing what he’s doing, or why he’s going without sleep. We all realize what our mission here is and we are all working towards achieving it in the ways that we know how.
The soldiers are searching.
And we are taking them in, like they are our own children, when they show up on our doorstep for food and comfort.
Because they are our children. And so are Gilad, Eyal and Naftali.
As someone said tonight, may the next time that we all get together be for a Seudat Hodaya, a thanks to Hashem for hearing our prayers and answering them.
And as I go to sleep tonight, tucked in my comfortable bed with my boys breathing deeply, I think of these soldiers out doing their jobs; and I think of the sleepless nights in the Frenkel, Shaar and Yifrach homes and in so many others; and I think of the boys, the dear boys.