am writing you a letter because there are things that I wanted
to say, but are hard for me to say in conversation - at least
the thing most dear to you is plucked from you no words, even
the most beautiful and pleasing, will help console you.
the president arrives and other dignitaries, most of whom
do not belong. And they speak words and share your grief,
it is nice to hear but it is not for you.
is the children, the young, the youth, they are the ones who
are easier to listen to. They are more sincere, they are feeling
more deeply, they will give you more strength to carry on.
And I hope they will continue to come to you, to provide you
companionship. I at least, though I am at home infrequently,
will come whenever I am able, at every opportunity.
the night between Wednesday and Thursday, between the 29th.
and 30th. of January, I was lying in ambush deep inside Lebanon.
It was very cold, all of us huddled in our Hermoniyot [special
winter jackets], our feet had frozen a long time earlier.
I am unable to fall asleep even during the time allotted me.
I sit by my platoon commander, half a meter away is the radio
night three ambushes took place in Lebanon, spread across
the central section of the security zone: Our ambush, auxiliary
12 of Golani, north of us an ambush of our rifle company and
north of them an ambush of the Nahal reconnaissance patrol.
The distances between the ambushes are relatively short and
all are roughly in a line.
the middle of the night, about 12:00, the radio which had
been silent until now becomes active. There is a commotion
on the radio. I have difficulty sleeping. I am trying to hear
what is being said on the radio, but the radio is a bit too
far and I can not hear clearly. I may have heard Yonatanís
voice, but I didnít know it was him.
little later, I hear helicopters very near to us. The helicopters
fly overhead, for a long time unable to land. We already understand
that something happened. At first we were sure that our rifle
company encountered terrorists, but we soon understood it
was the Nahal unit that ran into an explosive charge on their
way to the ambush.
the radio they inform of wounded and dead and I still do not
remember that Yonatan is serving in the Nahal reconnaissance
patrol. The next day we end the ambush and go back to the
post. The way is long and difficult. Heavy rain, thick fog
- itís impossible to see anything - I carry a very heavy load
and sink in the mud. For 5 hours we walk until reaching Israel.
Thatís it, I say to myself, at least in the near future I
wonít be going back to Lebanon, it was my last ambush before
starting my sergeantsí course.
return to the post. Hear about the soldiers who were killed
yesterday from the Nahal reconnaissance patrol. Hear for the
first time that an officer was killed as well, but I still
have no idea it is Yonatan because I didnít remember that
he serves in the reconnaissance patrol. I look at my watch.
The hour is late already. I decide not to call home to let
them know that everything is fine, Iíll do it tomorrow. I
go to sleep.
next day I call home, and my mother tells me that Susieís
son was killed. I was in shock. A shudder passed through my
whole body. I immediately ran all over the post. I was looking
for a newspaper to see that maybe there was a mistake. I found
a newspaper thrown out in one of the rooms. I opened the newspaper
and I saw your and Boazís picture on the front page of the
newspaper. I didnít know what to do. Yonatan was so near to
me that night and I didnít even know. I wanted to call you
and speak with you, but I was afraid. I waited a whole week
to go on leave. I had to come to you. I was very scared, I
was scared that I wouldnít be able to take it, that I would
have nothing to say, that I wouldnít be able to look you in
the eyes; but most of all I was afraid Iíd cry.
a very emotional person, but I always keep everything ďinsideĒ,
in my gut. Outside I also try to look the toughest fellow
on earth but inside Iím quite weak.
Oren Yaish, February