Ezra Ben-David

Tales from the front: As long as it’s just water


Shell-shaken awake.

The floor is hard the air dense

I yearn for a bed

We’re supposed to go back across the border tomorrow. Back home. It’s not over though and we’ll be back. Is it ever over?

I write this to the pitter-patter of water dropping into an empty ammunition box.

It’s raining and our tank is leaking. I knew we had a leak, so this morning, heading into a rainy-looking day, I tried to blockade the leak with whatever I had available. Now at this point you may be wanting to ask: ‘Say, why does the cutting-edge top-of-the-line Mark 4 Merkava tank that’s supposed to hold back all sorts of missiles, shells and mortars from penetrating its powerful armor and harming its crew leak something as simple as water?’

I’d probably answer you with something on the scale of: ‘Because f*ck me, that’s why’.

I took an old shirt and some dirty rags that I had been using to clean the machine guns and taped them to the tank’s ceiling in various places. Then I added a whole bunch more tape on top of that and hoped for the best. I looked up at my beautiful tapestry. I didn’t have high hopes.

To my surprise and by Zeus’ mercy, it held… for a while. At some point, the rags soaked up all the water that rags can hold, while the tape lost whatever loose grip it had on reality, and like a women in late labor (legal metaphor?), the dams broke open and the water broke through. You can imagine how unhappy that made us.

Trying to stop it at this point was futile, so I managed disasters and attempted to collect as much water as possible by positioning an empty ammo box underneath the leak.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget the look of self-pity we all wore as we sat, heads in our hands, staring helplessly at the sh*tty waterfall pouring into our sealed tuna can of a home.

About the Author
Ezra Ben-David has been proudly serving as an IDF reserve soldier in the Armored Corps since October 7th.
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