the thing about Shabbat...is that it is not fixed to how busy you are, what you have to do, what you want to do. It comes with the setting of the sun Friday night, and other than when Joshua stopped the sun over Jericho thousands of years ago, we are dependent on it to tell us as the Sabbath approaches. For me, I can look out my living room window and watch as it sinks in the sky. At the point that it just touches the horizon...which for me is the beautiful hill starting Jerusalem, I will light the candles.
I asked Elie to please try to call me before the Sabbath. He said he would try. Shabbat begins in just over 30 minutes and he still hasn't called. I know I should try to call him but I had an idea. I took my phone and gave it to each person in the house and asked them to send Elie a message. I don't know when he'll open his phone next, but when he does, he will be flooded with 7 messages wishing him, in English or Hebrew, in short sentences or long, a peaceful Sabbath.
"from your cute brother, Davidi," my youngest son wrote.
"Shabbat Shalom from Shmulik," my middle son wrote.
"Shabbat shalom and come home safely," my son-in-law wrote.
My older daughter is busy typing him a message now; next my younger daughter will send one as well. My husband is sending it from his phone and then I'll send one.
Shabbat shalom, by beautiful soldier. I am so proud of you. You are doing what is right and honorable and people all over the world are praying for you. There are those who send words filled with hatred and anger. They are nothing against us because we know a simple truth. If Hamas didn't fire rockets into Israel, we would not now be attacking Gaza.
No, I won't write all this. These are words Elie knows, just as he knows that we love him so much. I never imagined how hard this kind of week would be and I feel like such a fraud because my son is not IN Gaza. He is not one of the soldiers going house by house trying to find rockets and armed terrorists.
There isn't time to write more about why we do this - the sun is sinking lower and Elie still hasn't called. So I'll sign off - wish you all a safe and peaceful Shabbat.