Arranging a holiday in Israel can be very interesting. It seems like the whole country goes on vacation at the same time. Occupancy in the north during the summer and in the south during the winter reaches, quite literally, close to 100%. Get that spot early, or you’re not going to find a place.
We found a place – or at least my amazing older daughter did. And then we found out that David would be out of the army…the week before. So we decided to check around and see if we could find somewhere else to stay. I started calling and realized the week we want coincides with a huge musical festival up north…wonderful.
I called a bunch of places and then got desperate enough to ask one if perhaps she knew of another. I explained that I wanted my “soldier” to join us. That we already have a place the following week, but I really, really want to give him that time, that break. I’ve never gone on vacation without him and I don’t want to start now if I can help it.
“Where does he serve?” she asked.
“Givati,,” I answered.
And then, the most amazing thing happened. She started to speak. I’ll write down what I remember as best I can,
“My son served in Givati too. It was very hard. You know they go into Gaza, right?”
Yes, I told her, already hearing the dread pour into my voice. “I don’t want him in Givati,” I confessed.
“Listen to me. This is what you have to do. Every day, you have to give tzedukah [charity]. Find a poor family and every day, give them a few shekels. And pray. Say to yourself, ‘he should go in peace and he should serve in peace and he should be safe and come home in peace. Him and all of the soldiers of Israel.”
I told her again how much it scares me; she told me again that she it will be okay, just to give charity every day. Can you imagine speaking with a complete stranger and having her bless your child and offer you her support? It happens here all the time.