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Day 133 Of The War: It’s Still Going On

The transportable folding showers: the soldiers  of 73 salute the soldiers of 23
The transportable folding showers: the soldiers of 73 salute the soldiers of 23

 

In the beginning of the war, when my cousin from the US wrote to say that she was planning to come in January to help with the war effort, I assured her that by January the war would be over, and perhaps it was better to postpone any visits till the summer. I was totally wrong, I never believed that the war would go on for so long. I assumed that the United States and its allies would force us to stop much earlier. However, October 7th refuted many assumptions and beliefs, we are engaged in a war in the south and a practical war in the north. Most of the hostages are still in Gaza, and, in spite of everything, Netanyahu continues to make infuriating decisions catering to the extreme faction of his government.

Last week my cousin came to Israel for a solidarity visit. She wanted to meet the family and to try and feel the Zeitgeist. Yesterday, we drove to our cousins in Kibbutz Gan Shmuel. We haven’t met like that for a long time, and it was comforting to just sit and talk.

Kibbutz Gan Shmuel has been hosting evacuees from kibbutzim in the south. Just the other day, I heard on the radio that one of them, an elderly man, passed away. I asked my cousin about him; she knew him and liked him a lot. She told me that he died from complications of the flu. It’s hard to explain, and even somewhat strange, but I felt relieved to hear that it was the flu that killed him and not his broken heart (although we can never know). After all, he was an old man who had to be evacuated from his home following a massacre.

As we were taking a walk around the kibbutz, my cousins took us to a space where they built transportable showers from the beginning of the war to bring to the soldiers in the front. The people who initiated the project, my cousin among them, are the Yom Kippur (1973) veterans who remembered how much they had longed for a shower. These folded showers, together with the gas for heating and the huge water containers, were transported by them to different locations in Israel. Like the project of sending vegan meals to soldiers, this beautiful and necessary project of showers is over now as well.

Shortly after we returned to Tel Aviv last night, I heard that highway 2 (along the coast) was closed for a while because of demonstrations. I felt proud to tell my cousin that the demonstrations are back again in full volume

About the Author
I hold a PhD in English Literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, specializing in writing about issues related to women, literature, culture, and society. Having lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994), I bring a diverse perspective to my work. As a widow, in March 2016, I initiated a support and growth-oriented Facebook group for widows named "Widows Move On." The group has now grown to over 2000 members, providing a valuable space for mutual support and understanding.
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