My soldier-son is home from the army for the weekend. As always, it is comforting to have him near. Right now he is in his brother’s room on the roof, away from the hustle and bustle of erev shabbas and erev Tu B’Svat preparations. (The preparations before the Sabbath and the mini-holiday of Tu B’Svat.) He very reluctantly told me that he could not pitch in and help today; he is studying for his (late) bagrut (matriculation) exam of next week. I happily encouraged him to go study.
Meanwhile, I am listening to a disc of Chedva Levi, and she sings the song “V'Hi S’Amdah”. (This, for those who don’t know, is from the Passover seder, and is a praise of G-d who managed to always rescue us from extermination.) The problem is, not always does G-d save ALL of us. Soldiers die sometimes. And as I listen, tears run down my face (literally) and the song becomes in my mind, a plea to G-d: “Keep my son safe!”. I generally try to keep my fears in check, but this particular rendition of “Mi S’Amdah” has me in tears every time.
Now if my son would see me thus, he would be flabbergasted. He hasn’t, I suspect, the faintest idea. He knows I have fears (I have told him), but he never sees the tears.
May G-d protect all of our sons.