We woke up this morning to wonderful news that the Israeli army rescued two hostages, Louis Norberto Har (70), and Fernando Marman. These two brothers-in-law have reunited with their family: Louis’s wife Clara, Fernando’s sister Gabriela, and their niece Mia, whose photo holding her little dog Bela we all remember https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/day-57-of-the-war-gabriela-mia-and-bela-are-home/. For almost an entire hour, I was happy, but then we heard about the two fallen soldiers, and the death of many people in Rafah. Before we received the sad news about the casualties, I observed many people who, for the first time in a long period of grief, had a smile on their faces.
My weekend was marked by an attempt to engage in out of the (war) ordinary activities. On Friday, a friend and I drove up to Eilon to visit our friend Sima, who, along with a few other kibbutz members, chose to stay in their homes (I wrote about them here https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/day-42-of-the-war-staying-at-home-in-eilon/). When I spoke to Sima earlier last week and asked her to come and visit, she said that we would be their first guests since October 7th.
Driving north, the roads were relatively empty with army posts at the entrances to the different kibbutzim. Eilon is situated in one of the most beautiful regions in Israel, and sitting on our friends’ porch surrounded by clorful anemones and the singing of birds, it was hard to imagine that this idyllic place is only 4 km from the border. Still, a siren followed by a boom reminded us of this reality, and the Hezbollah. We heard that there is a chance that not all the members of the kibbutz, who are spread in several places around Israel, would choose to return to Eilon. Our friends spoke about it with resignation but without bitterness.
I feel ready for the next season to begin.