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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Report from the solidarity mission to Israel

Mark from West Orange, New Jersey may be my oldest friend in this world - we go back to Kindergarten in Boston, and his sister Susan introduced me to my wife. Mark is currently on a three-day solidarity mission to Israel. We will not get to see each other this trip, although we did speak on the phone briefly. He sent me the following report:

I may have seperately written to some of you about our trip to Haifa today and the minor miracle earlier in the day of one of the katyusha's hiitting a rock wall next to an apartment building and not killing anyone, although one older man died shortly afterward of a heart attack. (we were not there; we were brought to the site an hour after the hit. This was one of a barrage of 12. 5 apparently did not reach Haifa and six landed in other sections).

The miracle becomes a little more obvious when you see the car that was pierced/destroyed by the thousands of ball bearings packed into the katyushas by the enemy. The police commander advised us that anyone within a thousand meters of the spray of the ball bearings would have difficulty surviving unless sheltered by a wall or some defensive protection. Kind of makes the Tfilas Derech we daid when leaving Jerusalem a little more meaningful.

After Haifa we arrived in Tel Aviv where we were briefed by one of Israel's finest and Jewry's finest-- the head of ground troops for the IDF who was previously the head of the northern command and was the last soldier to leave Lebanon 6 years and 2 months ago. After an incredible briefing-- too long to try to detail on this treo-- we were exchanging pleasntries and I asked him where he was raised. (For context purposes only, he is a few years younger than me.) He responded that he was lives in Rosh Haayin but he was raised in a small moshav in the south. Without missing a beat, he added and my parents came from Bergen Belson.

I guess he knows what he is fighting for.



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