40 years can be a long time, or it can be a period of time that permanently affects you and your life. This time of year-Yom Kippur - reopens the festering sores that are always open in any case.
Yom Kippur is past but again the media is rekindling the Yom Kippur War- 40 years but for us it is always with us.
I wish to share with you in loving memory of our brave soldiers who fell because of the horrific mistakes made by the so-called leadership - and to be taken as a warning to never let this happen again.
These poems were written during the time during the Yom Kippur War and after when I struggled between despair and hope and prayer following the IDF reporting to me that my husband was MIA.
Land of hopes
Land of war
Dreams we hold
Of our children growing tall.
From all corners
We have come
To build a home
Oh Land of beauty
Of prayers and work
Endless problems, and duties
Behind all which our future lurks.
A hundred cultures interchange
Between thousand minds
Searching for common plaine.
Search on high
Each independent yet all try
To reach and build this dream of peace
A Land of one – of unity and happiness.
I was alone with a new baby when Ami left on Yom Kippur and was informed of his being MIA a week and a half before what was to be our first anniversary – trying to be a Mommy to our new daughter I kept holding her and promising – praying that she would see her Daddy again.
The Thing Most Beautiful
The thing most
Beautiful to me
Is not just the things I see
But tranquil moods
And warm sunshine
The feeling of inner peace
Which glows inside.
The smells of grass freshly cut
Or coffee steaming in a cup.
Baby's skin after a bath
Or flowers growing
On a dirt path.
I only recently told my husband and family about the book and what I wrote and I dedicate these words and prayers to our MIA's and their families. I who lived through this nightmare can never forget and daily pray for each of our missing and their families. And for our brother Yonatan Pollard to finally be released and brought home.
Even Now After 35 Years
Many is the time when reflectively I think back to this season 35 years ago. I cannot help myself since it is so ingrained in my heart and soul the terrible period of Yom Kippur, 1973. Were we ever so innocent and naïve? Back then we wanted so to believe that a government of Israel would not ignore dangers and allow the enemy to take advantage of the irresponsible, false self-pride that ensured us that the enemy "would not dare to cross the Bar-Lev Line".
How many Bar-Lev Lines have been crossed, ignored, destroyed and erased since those days when our entire country was mobilized and the "shock" of the "surprise attack" was felt by each of us.
Who can forget that Yom Kippur when at the Holiest Day of the year our loved ones who were not already in active duty were rounded up at the synagogues during the Fast and the ominous silence hour after hour, as we waited to hear what was happening while we fasted and prayed.
For each of us who lived and suffered during that period, the scars are open sores and even after 35 years the memories have never been dimmed or our pain lessened. The faces of our loved ones who never returned - the temporary graves where our brothers were interned while the fighting continued – the lack of taking responsibility for the war by the Israeli government are still with us fresh and painful as it was then.
For me personally it was my friends, and family and my husband who were called up during Yom Kippur. It was my life that was changed forever as a young wife and brand new mother (our first child was born a month before the war) when those three officers came to inform me that my husband, Ami, was Missing In Action on the Southern Front. I will never be able to forget the screams from the convoy of neighbors who came along with the I.D.F. representatives and who yelled, "This is worse than him being dead- they don't know where he is!!!"
I will never forget the feeling as if I had left my body and was watching from another place as the officers held up a thick list of names and finding Ami's asked me when I had last heard from him. I will never forget thinking as if outside of my body, "All of those names- they have to go to all of those families?!"
The eternal days, the endless nights of not knowing if he was alive or dead will never be forgotten nor will the pain ever stop. I remember as if now the impossibility – the lack of words - as I tried to tell Ami's parents that the eldest of their two sons was M.I.A., while their only other son was in the army fighting in the Golan. The impossible thought that we would never celebrate our first anniversary that was to take place a week and a half after I was informed that he was reported M.I.A.
Me, as I held and cuddled our new daughter and told her over, and over again that she would see her Abba, her Daddy, and that he would somehow come back to us. The ache and feeling of helplessness not knowing where he was and if he is hurting or knows that I am thinking and longing for him, will never be forgotten.
We had a miracle and Ami came home after a long time – too long a time. Yes, it was very difficult to pick up the pieces of our young lives and rebuild a somewhat normal life, but we were the lucky ones because we were together and able to struggle to overcome the trauma.
Sadly, the years have not proven that governments of Israel have learned from the horrific mistakes of the Yom Kippur War. On the contrary, governments of Israel have concocted one bad agreement after another with a brutal enemy who has learned from the history of the Yom Kippur War that Israel can be taken by surprise attack.
It is almost too unbelievable that Israel still talks of "peace", that terrorists are given weapons, fuel, and territory in order to attack Israel and murder innocent citizens. It is unreal that now, our sons are taking part in battles against an enemy that is not defeated, but strengthened by the mistakes of a dysfunctional, corrupt, and weak government.
The Israeli public is suffering from the knowledge that here, there is no democracy for Jewish independence, that even if we demonstrate there is nobody listening to the public outcry. There is no one listening to the public, or even to the soldiers who are endangered by inadequacy and stupidity, or to the families of our M.I.A. 's.
The only true hope is the quality of our youth: The honesty and loyalty to our Land and our heritage that they have. The best example that I can think of is commemorated in two special memorial sites in my home community, Bet Horon.
Last Friday I experienced the amazing response to the truth of the situation and of the story of our brave heroes, our loved ones who fell in Binje Bel, Lebanon two summers ago. Four buses – two hundred people came to hear the truth of the situation and give us support. Two hundred Non- Jews who love Israel came to Bet Horon to see for themselves and hear the truth.
Five different groups, each with a translator, heard the story of our brave young lions who in a time of selfishness, a time of corruption and evil could only think of their mission; to protect their families, and country, and to selflessly not think of themselves but only of how to save their brothers-in-arm. These eight young heroes who fell died trying to save their brothers with no thought of themselves or their safety.
These Non-Jews who love Israel stood weeping and praying for Israel and for the memory of these eight Jewish soldiers. One of their prayers was, "Dear L-rd let each of these communities remain not only in the Land of Israel, but also in the State of Israel".
It is not enough for groups of Non-Jews to remember why we are here and what these brave heroes lived and died for- each of us must remember and force the governments of Israel to behave as they should with responsibility for the people and Land of Israel.
Each of us must do all that we can to force this to happen, I for one will never be silent and never cease to fight for our lives here in our Land. I will do this in loving memory for our friends and families who fell as soldiers, or were killed in Kiddush HaShem ; to honor the name of the G-d of Israel, simply because they were Jews.
Today, 35 years after that Yom Kippur, the memories, the pain and the tears remain. But now 35 years later my husband and I B"H are about to celebrate our 36 anniversary – never forgetting the first one we never got to celebrate and the day after our celebration, with the grace of G-d we will celebrate the marriage of one of our daughters. After 35 years perhaps this is the answer to the memories and tears – to continue the struggle to be able to live as Jews in our Land and to have the blessings of settling the Land and watch our children continue in the same direction.
Yehudit Tayar is a veteran spokesperson for the Jewish pioneers in Yesha and lives with her husband Ami and their family for over 28 years in Bet Horon, in the Benjamin Region.