“And they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks”
Yesterday I went to visit a former colleague who is a superhero of sorts.
Well, in my eyes, anyway.
Remember that superhero character who catches bullets and throws them back at the bad guys? Well this is what Yaron Bob does…. in a manner of speaking, right here in the western Negev.
His backyard looks like a graveyard for rockets. Recorded on each rocket remnant, is the date it was launched and the name of the unlucky place where it exploded. When Hamas-projected rockets from Gaza detonate, they spew out small deadly razor-sharp shards that rip through anything in the paths of their projectiles (as I have experienced, personally). They lacerate cars, cement walls, metal, trees, bodies….anything near-by above a foot high. However, the rod which houses the motor that propels the savage warhead often remains, to a certain extent, intact.
These remnants of metal, shot with demonic intentions of wreaking death and destruction, are what Yaron amasses from all over. These are what he welds and smashes and sculpts into artwork. He has the remains of kassams collected from Gan Yavne, grads brought from Ashkelon and fajrs retrieved from Tel Aviv. Raw material courtesy of the Hamas.
This act, of creating beautiful sculptures from weapons intended to kill and destroy, is Yaron’s ammunition for revenge, countering those who would do us harm. And as if that were not enough, this is not what he does for a living. This is what he does for his soul, because most of the proceeds are donated to projects to help the people who live here. The money he gets goes mainly towards subsidizing bomb shelters in Ashdod and Ashkelon, as well as other social projects; protecting residents and helping them heal from the ongoing post-trauma of war.
This region, where I have the privilege to live, on the border with the Gaza Strip, raises a special breed of people. Yaron is one of them. Like I said: a superhero who beats rockets into roses, countering sinister goals with optimism, love and beauty.