The Death of a Young Soldier

The Death of a Young Soldier

I received tragic news from my sons’ elementary school this morning. A 21-year-old graduate named Eitan Dishon was killed yesterday in Gaza while fighting in the elite Sayeret Givati Unit.

Then I received another Email from my oldest son’s high school. Eitan HY”D, it turned out, was also the grandson of a senior teacher and the school’s longstanding secretary.
Tomorrow I return home to Israel. To the funerals. To the shivas. To standing with an Israeli flag on the side of the road as bereaved neighbors leave home to bury their dead.
And to assisting the Evacuees that have replaced the tourists that just a few weeks ago filled Jerusalem’s hotels.
As well as the wives and children of the many reservists among my neighbors.
It will be a challenging transition after this week spent in the quiet, leaf-strewn Baltimore neighborhood where I grew up.
A note from my son’s phenomenal teacher Shai Gillis, in preparation for the boys’ volunteer outing tomorrow to assist a farmer, made me smile today:

“Dear beloved students and parents:

“On this difficult day, we are also looking towards tomorrow. Tomorrow we will be meeting with a farmer who is preparing his field for sowing, and we will be there to help him.

“According to all reports, we are going to be working in mud, very deep mud. I would bet the students haven’t gotten as muddy as they will tomorrow since kindergarten.
“I hope this outing will be not only a purely agricultural matter, but rather something more symbolic, which marks our preparation for what lies ahead in the future, after these difficult weeks are behind us.
“Faith is Seder Zeraim, the Order of Seedlings, for he believes in the Eternal One, and sows.”

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