Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shabbat Visitors

On Shabbat day, Saturday, when we are on the base for the weekend it is permissible to have visitors. They aren't allowed to enter the base, but there is a large visiting area just outside the gate. A few of the guys live very closeby, so of course their parents come, but even those that have to drive an hour or two tend to show up. All throughout the day guys are disappearing for a couple hours and returning with insane amounts of food. We stuff our faces with the feast from the civilian world.

Along with their Iraqi and Moroccan dishes, sugary candy, potato chips, and soda, my squadmates return with something less tangible. They return with a certain rejuvenation, a certain moralization from seeing their family and friends. All week we are at the mercy of a few soldiers who have only been in the army for a year or so more than us, which inevitably dampens the spirit, and so to finally be a full human again - they seem to be on top of the world.

I, however, don't have my parents visiting. My family lives 7,000 miles away. They can't just come for a couple hours and give me a much needed hug. They can't just say, "You're doing great! Keep it up!" I sit around and watch the guys come back with smiles on their faces and I can't help but feel jealous. I can't help but feel a loneliness by comparison.

The first Shabbat with visitors was tough, but I'm used to it now. I've lived far from my loved ones for well over a year now, so I'm accustomed to the distance. I take solace in knowing that I'm here on a mission, an ideological journey. I just don't let it get to me. I eat their delicious food, ask them how everyone is doing, read my book for a minute, and go back to sleep.

Nothing in this world worth doing is easy, they say.

8 comments:

Israeli said...

Danny, I understand where you are coming from as a former Chayal Boded myself. Hang tough. Did you think of seeing if you can live on a Kibbutz while in the Army. I did and it helped a lot.

BTW, once you are in the field, watch out for those guys who get packages from home and eat their cookies only after dipping them in tea or coffee so their mates won't hear the crunch of cookies. ;-)

Honi said...

Hi Danny,
I so admire what you are doing.. and to be young enough to create such valuable memories is wonderful.. Even though things may be a bit hard right now.. these are experiences I can only imagine you will take so much from in the long run..
Wishing you peace, happiness, and safety!
Honi

Anonymous said...

Hey Danny it's your bro. We love and miss you a lot. We think about you everyday and talk about you the same. We want you to be safe, but have fun doing what you are doing. Wish I could give you a hug right now. Can't wait to see you so I can try to attack you and relish in getting beaten up by my little brother, finally! Love you bro!

Anonymous said...

Danny, As I started to write a comment, Jeff came down to sit next to me. I feel as if we are all together right now(with a good flow of energy). Dad, Jeff, and I love you dearly. We wish we could be with you to give you the biggest, tightest squeeze of a hug imaginable. Know that you are in our hearts and prayers constantly throughout each day. There isn't a day that goes by without mention of your name.
I am very proud of you and your insight into working hard for what is important in your life. That is a valuable lesson that will guide you throughout difficult times. I love you sweetie, Mom

Jonathan said...

eHug dog, that's the best I can do. Love you buddy stay strong and come home safe.

Janjan said...

Nothing worth doing is easy! What a quote. What you are doing is the greatest thing a guy your age could be doing. Look into that kibbutz idea, makes a lot of sense.

Stay strong and be aware you have people you don't even know in your Amen corner.

William said...

Danny,
You are obviously a man of strong beliefs. Believe this; your family is with you always. You're in our thoughts frequently. I check your blog daily. You're in our prayers daily. I read every article I can find on the events over there and wonder how they effect you.
That doesn't do much to make visiting day any easier and it sure doesn't bring you any home cooking. We 're still there.
UB

Danny Brothers said...

Unc,

Thank you very much for your comment. I always think of our family, from my bro to all the uncles and cousins and aunts and everyone. That's a big help.

I'll see you guys soon enough, I swear it!

Danny