A Hug from Dvir

Thanks to Debbie Shapiro for sending this incredibly moving story my way. Get your tissues ready, Jewish mom…

The Gaza War was a three-week military conflict that took place in the Gaza Strip during the winter of 2008–2009.

It was dubbed Operation Cast Lead. Dvir Aminolav was the first Israeli soldier killed in that short but terrible war. His father had died of cancer two years earlier. Dvir had been the only son among
daughters and had taken on many paternal responsibilities in the family. His loss was particularly traumatic.

On his birthday, family and friends gathered around his grave, where his mother, Dalya shared this moving story.

Dalya missed her son, Dvir, terribly. One night before she went to bed, she said in a loud voice: “G-d, give me a sign, give me a hug from Dvir so that I will know that his death had some meaning.” It was quite some time before she fell asleep.

That week her daughter asked her to accompany her to a musical performance at The International Crafts Festival in Jerusalem. Dalya, feeling quite depressed, did not want to go to the concert, but she didn’t want to disappoint her daughter either, and agreed to go halfheartedly. The concert was a bit delayed. As the musicians were warming up, tuning their instruments, and testing the speaker system, a two-year-old boy, with beautiful blond curls, looking like a little angel, began wandering through the stands. Without the slightest bit of self-consciousness, he walked right up to Dalya’s seat and touched her on the shoulder. A preschool teacher, Dalya turned around, saw the boy and smiled warmly.

“What’s your name?” Dalya asked in a soft and kind voice.

“Eshel,” the boy replied.

“That’s a nice name. Do you want to be my friend, Eshel?” The boy nodded in reply and sat down next to Dalya.

Eshel’s parents were sitting two rows above. Seeing their little boy bothering Dalya below, they asked him to come back up. But Dalya insisted that everything was fine.

“I have a brother named Dvir,” two-year-old Eshel chimed in, as only little children can. Dalya was shocked to hear the unusual name of her beloved son, and walked up the two rows to where Eshel’s parents were sitting. She saw a baby in his carriage, and apologizing, she asked, “If you don’t mind me asking, how old is your baby and when was he born?”

The baby’s mother replied, “He was born right after the war in Gaza. Six months ago to be precise.”

Dalya swallowed hard. “Do you mind if I ask one more question?” The mother said not at all, and Dalya asked,

“Please tell me, why did you choose to name him Dvir?”

Baby Dvir’s mother began to explain. “I am an officer dealing with wounded soldiers in the army. When I was at the end of my pregnancy, the doctors suspected the fetus may have a very serious birth defect. Since it was the end of the pregnancy, there was little the doctors could do for me and my baby and I just had to wait and see how things would turn out.

When I went home that night, the news reported that the first casualty in the war was a soldier named Dvir. I was so saddened by this news that I decided to make a deal with G-d. ‘If you give me a healthy son,’ I said in my prayer, ‘I promise to name him Dvir, in memory of the soldier that was killed.’”

Dalya, the mother of Dvir, stood with her mouth open. After a long silence, she said quietly, “I am Dvir’s mother.”

The young parents didn’t believe her. She repeated, “Yes, it’s true. I am Dvir’s mother. My name is Dalya Aminalov, from Pisgat Zeev.”

With a sudden inspiration, Baby Dvir’s mother handed Dalya the baby and said, “Dvir wants to give you a hug.”

Dalya held the little baby boy in her arms and looked into his angelic face. The emotion she felt at that moment was overwhelming. She had asked for a hug from Dvir – and she could truly feel his warm and loving embrace from the World to Come.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.com user Jasmic

One comment

  1. Margalit Perez


    Rak toda raba…. ani boja, ani mitrageshet meod meod vegam ani iejola lirot et Iad HaShem ajarei col matzav she iesh lanu…. Dvir jai vekaiam…. ki hu noten lanu hajaim shelo kemo matana. Dalya… kama anajnu tzrijim lilmod itaj!!! Jaim shelaj kemo Sefer Tora, at kemo imaot shelanu…
    Berajot miBuenos Aires, Argentina

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