Sunday, May 1, 2016

Bombs and Stuff

My youngest son is on his way back to base. We were very blessed this year to have had him home for both the first and last days of the Passover (Pesach) holiday. He went back to base in between (armed with his rifle and 18 home-made cupcakes). They weren't enough to keep him from starving, apparently.

There are many things that I can accept as a mother of a soldier. But the two things that break me are the thoughts that my son is either cold or hungry. Last week, it was hungry. He came home on Thursday. I arranged to pick him up midway and have him join us for a brief visit with my parents. For the first time that I can remember, he asked me to bring food.

Each week I ask him what he will be doing. He's finished the basic training and is now qualified to guard and go on a checkpoint. He's in the middle of the advanced training. Last week, it was very hot in Israel, a taste of the summer that is fast approaching.

The Israeli army is very aware that hard training and hot weather don't mix well. Sometimes, they train in the middle of the night - war, after all, is not just a day time affair. Sometimes, they can't train at all and so where possible, the army switches the schedule of training around. Israel does not just teach a soldier to fight; it teaches him (or her) many other things - information about our enemies, the region, the terrain. More, it teaches them about our country and why they fight, why we have no choice.

Many of the places where they have taken David are sites that he has visited, sometimes several times. But not all soldiers attended religious high schools, not all learned close to Jerusalem. He has been to Yad Vashem, the national Holocaust Memorial (and research) Center. He has been to the Western Wall (the Kotel), more times than he can count, even as an infant, as a young child, with his youth group, after his trip to Poland, and with the army.

The army often uses the holidays as a chance to ease up on the training and give the new soldiers "culture" days. This time, Davidi's training continued. There is a special training base for ground forces - units have to sign up well in advance; a sudden opening is not to be wasted, so last week, David's group went there.

As seems to be the custom, his phone was off for most of the week. The one chance I got to speak with him was via WhatsApp. He recorded me a message - often faster than writing.

I asked him what he was doing on the excessively hot days. He responded that they were learning.

What are you learning? I asked him.

"Bombs and stuff."

Bombs. And. Stuff. I can't think of many mothers in Israel who would want to hear that, or feel totally calm once they did. Bombs and stuff. All I can think of in response (which I didn't say) was that once you are learning about bombs...what other stuff is left to worry about?

The weekend came and went, with a lot of fun. The holiday is over; back to school, to work, to the army...what he's learning about this week...God knows.

No comments:

Copyright Statement

Everything on this site is protected and copyrighted according to Israeli and international laws. Violators WILL be prosecuted.

For permission to use pictures or text from this site, please write to: