The Neshamah Geological Survey

A trip up to Northern Israel to help its residents and soldiers

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Final Day of Trip

Today we got off to an early start. We were in Tzfas and met an old friend, Dovid Rothschild, who is very familiar with the terrain and the army positions.
Just prior to our meeting the air raid siren went off and we all ran to the Miklot in the Hecht family's home. It was a heart wrenching experience to hear the cries of the children and see the fear on their faces.
We did hear explosions in the distance but these it turned out were not the anticipated incoming missiles but rather the army detonating several large explosive devices in and around the area.
We remained in the sealed room for about 5 minutes as we tried to calm the frayed nerves and reassure everyone that it would all be okay. It was truly a heartbreaking experience.
From there we headed out to our destination of the day, Lebanon.
After about an hour of traveling and pausing to view the landscape and topography of the war grounds we finally arrived at the base in Lebanon.
We were allowed into the compound which is highly fortified and complete with many underground bunkers and sniper positions.
While there we put on Tefillin with the soldiers, signed them up for letters in a Sefer Torah, and toured the entire compound.
One young man confided to me that he and his wife have been considering becoming more "Dahtee" but he had no idea as to how to begin the process. He confided that they were considering that maybe they could begin with a Friday night Kiddush or keeping Shabbos. I pulled out my Tefillin and said let's start right now with the mitzvah of Tefillin. I assisted him in putting on the Tefillin, saying the Shemah, and we agreed that we would send the picture of this first mitzvah to his wife in order to notify her that he is now ready to begin. Please notice the pictures on the wall of the bunker where we put on Tefillin.
We went up to the top of the sniper tower and were able to look through some very high powered binoculars and we could see the enemy peering back at us.
The men of the unit could not have been more accommodating. They could not believe that we actually came up there to visit them. We thanked them for serving and they said oh no it is us who must thank you. We assured them that we were the ones who needed to do the thanking. They asked us how that is possible.
We explained to them that they are not only fighting for the borders of Israel but for all Jews everywhere. That this is a war that goes far beyond the borders of one country. They were very moved by our explaination and our visit. We were also overcome emotionally.
Aishy really enjoyed handling all the weapons and as we were leaving he commented to his father all I had to do was fire that machine gun and I could have started an international incident.
I guess that will have to wait for another visit which we will talk about in the days to come.

These are pictures from a bunker inside Lebanon. The pinacle of the rise in the above photo is the first village inside Southern Lebanon.

Tomorrow we will meet with the director of the boys and girls camps in the shtacheem.


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