1, 195 days. To those of us living our lives in relative peace, the last 1, 195 days have gone by rather quickly. For me personally they have been a time of blessing and love. In the past 1, 195 days I have gotten married, worked at a job I loved, had a beautiful daughter and moved countries (B"H). There have been good days and bad days, but they have been MY days.
Today Gilad Shalit has been in captivity 1, 195 days. In that time his parents have been praying for him to come home, for proof that he is still able to come home, any word. Two years ago they got a recorded message, devoid of any real message. Today they get a two and half minute video tape, proving, that as of September 14th, their son was still alive.
I cant even begin to imagine that I know their pain, or what they are feeling. I know that watching the media mob Gilad's grandfather as he entered the family's house made me hold my daughter a little tighter, that watching the Palestinians celebrate the release of the 20 (+) female prisoners from Israeli prisions made me scared for the type of future my daughter will see, and that just thinking of Gilad's parents at this moment, on the eve of a joyous Holiday- Sukkot- seeing their son for the first time in 1,195+ days, with still no concrete hope of him coming home, made me cry.
I cannot begin to argue the sides. Is it the responsibility of the Palestinians to provide "proof of life"? If not, is it right that Israel set a presedence by releasing prisoners? What is the cost Israel should give to release Gilad after 3+ years? What does this say about future kidnapped Israelis- will their chance of survival increase if Hamas knows they can get exchanges for them? Or is it worse that the Israeli population-military and civilian- is more in danger from this exchange?
We dont really know. On this eve of sukkot, as we celebrate, think of the Shalit family. Send your prayers and wishes their way, and be thankful that your days are your own, as much as anyones can be. My heart breaks for the family, and the possible futures I see for my new state. May we all be blessed with peace this year and the ones to come.