We pass each other in the streets, us women of Efrat, of the Gush. We don’t need to say much. Our eyes say it all.
There’s a physiological response that passes for words. A nose reddens, an eye wells with tears and is met with matching outward signs of empathy for our boys.
That is how we feel.
We can pray and offer up our tears to the heavens as a sacrifice.
We can offer encouragement to our sisters and brothers. And we can give and give and give to our soldiers with no need for restraint.
Because it’s the closest we can get to hugging our boys. It’s the closest we can get to bringing them back to their mothers’ arms, to the warm fierce embrace we, they, all of us crave.
It’s what we can do. So we do it. We do it to back our prayers and our tears with something tangible, something that will give our soldiers the strength to continue, to find our boys. A bit of chocolate, a piece of cake.
It’s a small enough effort to help our soldiers bring back our boys, safe, sound, and proud to move past this.
To move on and be an emblem for our people, who have outlived every enemy, at every point in history.
The Nation of Israel lives.