Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Father's Story - Herb Keinon

When I read Herb Keinon's account (JPost) of how he felt during the 15 days his son was in Gaza, I was struck by how parallel his description was to my own intense emotions during the war, yet I did not have a son, a husband or brother there.

Of course I can't really compare my feelings to both his very personal fears and his very personal pride, but there was definitely an loud echo of what he expressed in my own soul.

As I reflected on this, and on my emotions when I visited the wounded soldiers in the hospitals I realized it didn't matter that they weren't my "actual family" because they and the families and close friends surrounding them - they were also mine. The soldiers belong to all of us and they are part of us; Am Yisrael is a People who, though we fight a lot between us at times, we really are as one.

So when he describes his feelings, it is in a little way the feelings of all of us.

Please click on the link below to read the entire article. It has a very sweet ending.

First Person: A father's story of his son at war

Jan. 23, 2009Herb Keinon , THE JERUSALEM POST

"Hello," I muttered into the phone at 7:15 last Sunday morning, after looking at - and not recognizing - the phone number on the caller ID.

"Hallo," a raspy voice answered back, waiting for recognition. When none came, the voice continued: "Abba, it's Yona."

And with those three words a 15-day trauma that began with the IDF's ground operation in the Gaza Strip simply melted away.

"Honey," I giddily screamed to my wife. "It's Yona." The lad was out of Gaza. He was safe and he was sound. Never have I felt more relieved.

Well-ensconced in middle age, I have tasted a good range of life's emotions. I have felt the pain of losing a parent at a relatively early age, the joy of marrying a woman I love, the delight at the birth of four healthy children. I have felt pleasure, bliss, happiness, satisfaction; hatred, pride, envy and disappointment.

I also thought I had pretty much run the scale of all the emotional chords involved in child-rearing. But I was wrong. I never felt anything that came close to the all-encompassing, gut-wrenching worry that comes when one has a child fighting in a war. These were virgin waters, and waters that at times made me feel as if I were drowning. ........

Read the full article here.

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