?Why Are the Soldiers Crying??

The little boy shivered and moved closer. The sounds of the trucks and marching feet were distinctly audible now.

Isaac Kohn,

OpEds לבן ריק
לבן ריק
Arutz 7
The seven- year-old woke with a start; his senses were suddenly alerted to the strange noise. Frightened, it shook him loose from his deep slumber. He looked around in the dimness of the room. The cuckoo clock chimed a few times and he knew it was three o'clock in the morning. His little sister in the next bed stirred restlessly. Very quietly, he slipped into his slippers and gingerly walked across the floor to the window. Moving the curtain open, his eyes glued to the glass pane, he stared into the darkness. The noise was coming closer; there, straight ahead, he thought he saw the blinking lights. He was now fully awake; Abba said that they were coming.

Quietly, so as not to wake his sister, he opened the door and disappeared down the hall to his parents? room; both were awake and peering out of their own bedroom window.

?Abba, they are coming! I saw the lights.?

The father bent down and, in a swoop, picked him up in his arms. ?Yes, my son, they are coming. I can see the shadows of many soldiers on six or seven military trucks. Soon they will reach us and....

He fell silent and the mother left the room to attend to the crying little girl who just woke up. In this vast, sparsely populated land, the noise carried far and seemed louder; the gears kept shifting as the trucks continued their climb up the slope towards the few houses on the hill. They were still a few kilometers away. Steadily, the caravan on the horizon continued towards the mission; the orders have been signed.

?Pay close attention, my son, they'll be here soon and I want to make sure you'll never forget,? the father began to speak and all four sat down on the bed. ?Jewish history, my son, is tightly packed with hundreds upon hundreds of expulsions - the forced evacuation of Jews from their homes and lands. It began with the Ten Tribes, continued in the days of Churban Habayit and once again when the second Temple was burned down, too. The Babylonians drove us out and the Romans were next; hardly did we catch our breath when we were expelled once again. The list is long, my son, Spain and England, Portugal ,Sweden, Poland, Italy and Bohemia. There were so many I doubt any country can be spared.?

The little boy shivered and moved closer. The sounds of the trucks and marching feet were distinctly audible now.

?And usually, they came at night, to wake us, to frighten us into submission; and we never fought, we couldn't. So we left everything behind and moved on. Dogs braying at our feet, soldiers with bayonets ready to prod us on, the multitudes of Jews moved on. The long lines of forlorn, beaten men, desperate women and wailing children was a common sight. We were jeered and laughed at and urged to move on. And then came the Nazis. Their expulsions encompassed most of the civilized world. Their solution envisioned no more evictions. Theirs was to be the last expulsion of Jews, ever. Had they succeeded, perhaps you and I would not have been here today to witness once again the expulsion and evacuation of Jews. We are the remnants that survived that unimaginable march. We came here... so that never again will we be expelled from our homes; or so we thought.?

The little girl, her head slumped on the mother?s shoulders, slept peacefully oblivious to the growing noise. The boy?s eyes were glued to his father?s moving lips, his mouth wide open as if swallowing every word.

And the father continued, ?And all those expulsions and forced evacuations combined didn?t hurt as much as what is about to transpire.?

?Are the Nazis coming back?? the frightened child blurted out.

?No, my child,? the father replied as his hand gently caressed his cheek. ?We all must be stronger than ever, my son, because this time the pain is worse than all combined. Because, son, they are our own.?

The boy nodded his head as if that said it all. He seemed to understand.

The noise of the many engines suddenly died, as their headlights lit up the room. A strong knock, and three soldiers stood framed in the opened door.

The child?s eyes moved from soldiers to father, to mother and back again.

?We are ready to go,? the father addressed the captain and they all, silently, moved towards the door.

The soldiers moved aside. As they were going out of the door, the child looked back at the soldiers and stopped to stare. He was baffled, confused.

?Why are the soldiers crying, Abba??
Isaac Kohn writes from Brooklyn, New York. He can be reached at Isaackohn@aol.com.