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"Soldier" For A Night

Saturday July 22nd, 2017 "Army Night" Last night, many of us achieved more than we ever thought we were capable of. Immediately after Shabbat ended we were told to get ready in ten minutes and board the busses. We were brought to one of the entrances of the Caesarea beach where we were welcomed by Achuzat Sara, also preparing to begin our intense night. After being taught how to hold someone on a stretcher, three people were chosen to be the ones carried while 12 were chosen to carry, 4 people per stretcher. I was not chosen to hold anyone as they we began to enter the beach, which was To my advantage because it allowed me to acknowledge what was going on around me and to shift my mood to a more serious one. We were told by Eddie and James to continuously remember the children as we hold the stretchers, try and feel their pain, their sorrow, their heartbreak and tears. The pain of the stretchers can not do justice, but it can at least give us a glimpse of what pain feels like. We were also told that if the stretches becomes to heavy or too painful, we should lift our hands and one of or friends will come replace us immediately. These instructions did not stand solely as directions, but held a much greater and deeper meaning behind it. The children we have come to spend time with this summer are injured, alike to a soldier that would need a stretcher, and we, are showing the injured that we are there for them, we will hold them when they fall and will be by their sides until there is no more to be worried about. We continued switching off people on the stretchers and people carrying the stretcher through the water and up the mountains supporting one another the entire time. Holding the stretcher was painful and hard, but the feeling of knowing you had someone to replace you and help you if it got too rough was one that kept us all going more and more as went. We formed a circle when we were done and R' Yair opened up the circle to give an opportunity to those who wanted to speak about what keeps them going in life. I didn't speak but after seeing what I had seen minutes before this, i knew the exact answer to the question. What keeps me going is seeing a group of teenagers from different corners of the world, who can be spending their summer watching tv, studying, hanging out with their friends and so on, come to a place with sadness and despair, and create happiness and a healthy future. We have come to a children's home where so many children previously went to sleep seeing no hope for fun and happiness when they woke up and I can confidently say each of us have changed that. We have allowed them to have something to look forward to when they wake up and have given them reasons to smile and love to share.

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