* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])
I went through the list of our women and children hostages and then I went through the list of terrorists to be released. I checked their ages and life stories.
This obviously is not an ordinary deal between two sides of a dispute. It’s a deal between the heights and the depths of human existence. To distinguish between us and our enemies, all we need to do is ask: Who are your heroes? On their side, we see rockets fired from kindergartens while on our side, it’s not only the mother of a kidnapped child who does not sleep, but an entire nation.
On their side, they will pass out candy to celebrate the release of those who devoted their lives to making bombs, stabbing, and murdering while on our side the heroes are ordinary people who just want to live and be left in peace.
I just finished reading about the Kalmanson brothers who left the safety of their homes to travel to Kibbutz Be’eri where they saved more than a hundred lives on Simchat Torah. In the midst of that inferno, Elhanan Kalmanson, who would lose his life that day, reminded a child he rescued to take his glasses with him.
Menachem Kalmanson asked permission from a mother whom he saved to give a little hug to her baby girl. And when he saved a pregnant woman — who said she did not feel movements of the fetus inside her — he calmed her down by telling her: “Drink some sweet fruit juice and then you will feel the movements again,” upon which he immediately returned to saving lives.
Our physical distance from the hostages is only a few kilometers, but the distance they will travel in the coming days is enormous — from the darkest and gloomiest to the brightest and most radiant place on earth.