Friday, May 11, 2007

When Things Get Hot...

Apparently the army understands that heat can be dangerous. So, all the while this past week, as I was worrying about Elie being in the desert in the heat, he was enjoying the hot weather. Well, perhaps not the hot weather exactly, but the way the army handles it.

There are, apparently, levels of heat, as interpreted by the army. Normal level means training as usual. The highest level of heat means the soldiers are pulled back into the bases for everything except essential training, patrolling and "real" army work.

The next highest level, as was declared this week, means that soldiers remain in the field...but aren't allowed to train. So, Elie and his unit set up protective cover, and then got to relax and pretty much do nothing. My comment that it might get really hot next week, was met with an "I hope so" from Elie.

Like other weeks, he comes home tired and ready to eat home-cooked food. The army schedule is becoming more and more known to us. This time, he also came home with the Bible given to him by the army and a pin attached to his beret showing the symbol of his unit. A single artillery battery. The Bible is inscribed with the insignia of the army and includes a blessing for the soldiers. For Elie's small unit, a special note was added and personally signed by his commanding officer. The note quotes the section in the Bible where the menorah, the 7-armed candelabra that was in the Holy Temple, is described.

The menorah that adorned the Holy Temple contained two sets of 3 arms branching off in opposite directions. Each arm is attached to a single arm in the center. This center piece is the strongest arm, the backbone of the menorah, and from this center piece all other branches stem.
It is the strength of the menorah, the gold piece that supports all the restd. In the artillery configuration of his brigade, Elie's group will be like this center arm, the backbone and strength of the larger unit. Each unit will depend on the accuracy of what Elie's group does, the information it receives and passes on to them. The gold center, the one that supports and directs. This is the special message his commanding officer gave to Elie's unit. Though Elie's commanding officer said that whatever he told us could be told to others (or he wouldn't be allowed to tell us), I still don't feel comfortable writing all the details, but the analogy is so perfect, so accurate so Biblical.

In the meantime, it's Friday again, Sabbath eve here in Israel and Elie is once again home. He looks wonderful. Strong, tanned, relaxed, happy. My son, the soldier.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

\good luck with your blog. From one soldier's mother to another I know just how you feel. I have one in Golani - he has been there a year and a half and is now a mefaked - and another one going in the summer. Your life will be changed forever.....enjoy.

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