it is 4:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i have been busy lately. i finally finished cleaning the upstairs apartment. the pigeons have left the porch clean. it was a hard job. the wooden floor was beyond filthy. i went over it a few times with a soapy mop. i had two lovely ladies stay here for 6 nights. i was nervous that they may not like dogs or pigeons, for that matter.
a good friend from the states also came up to visit for a few days. i did a pesach cleaning in the back bedroom. i wanted my friend to rest and have a private bathroom. she had been visiting with her daughters and loads of grandchildren. i wanted her to be able to relax in a no pishie zone. i think she enjoyed her space. the ladies also seemed to enjoy the upstairs space. we were blessed with a week of cooler weather and plenty of cross breezes. both spaces are still clean.
i finally caught the news in english and got to see what has been transpiring in our country. yesterday, my neighbors buried their 22 year old son. he was killed with many other soldiers on monday. my son came upstairs forlorn to tell me the awful news. i hadn't seen my 27 year old son cry in a long while. i couldn't concentrate on anything else for the night. i went to the funeral with many of the residents of my neighborhood. there was a huge traffic jam in town. we had to get out of the bus and procede by foot to the bottom of a hill.
this was the first israeli military funeral that my friend attended. i took her to her first israeli wedding and now i had to take her to a funeral. it was very hot in the cemetery. it was surreal. i stood above the cemetery, looking down, watching the funeral. i couldn't really make out the faces. it was a huge crowd. on the way back up the hill i ran into my son. he hugged me. i have been exhausted since. i know it was a long walk out of the cemetery and back to town, but i think it's the trauma that did me in.
i want to pay a visit to the family this evening. i've had my grandson with me all day. i've let him watch videos all day. i also watched the boob tube all day. i'm spent. it was too hot to be outside. i want to take him to the supermarket for a bit of exercise. i listened yesterday to the words of the rav of the town and the rav of the military yeshiva and of course, to the words of the mother. they all spoke of this boy's strength, and courage. he died a hero. he died because he was a jew. they all spoke about how our nation is strong. the mother asked her son to help her be strong. she accepted this test from above willingly. our people are indeed, remarkably strong.
we know how to grieve and how to rejoice. we know when to laugh and when to cry. we are but lambs. and i guess we are lions when we need to be. there have been so many of these funerals all over the country. so many families of late have lost their sons. almost everyone has a son in combat. we are all in suspended animation waiting for good news. so many people are in bomb shelters. everyone has heard the warning sirens. and everyone has scrambled to the shelters. you have 13 seconds to get to a shelter or lie down on the floor near a wall. so far, it has been quiet up here in the north. we all wonder if we will be spared.
we started a 3 week period of mourning and are now in the final 9 days of av. we fast on monday night and continue throughout tuesday night. it is a very hard fast. we are supposed to mourn the loss of our holy temple. i think it isn't hard to be mourning right now. we are all mourning the loss of our children. the morale in the country is high. the people for the most part, are united. we are truly one nation. i haven't seen this in all the time i've lived here. may we have true peace and security in our land and may we welcome the redenption now!