Tag Archives: Burma road


17 Apr

At 8:00pm tonight we stopped chatting, singing, and eating and stood up around our campfire as the sound of the siren blared throughout the country to mark the beginning of Yom HaZikaron (Israel’s Memorial Day.) I swear the flames of the fire grew bigger as the siren sounded. I thought of parents who have lost their son or daughter to war and terror. I thought of those in my group who have lost friends and neighbors. At the end of the siren Sivan, a member of our group offered a prayer that no more soldiers be lost. Ken yehi ratzon.

When I was thinking of writing a post today the theme I was thinking would be “angels.” This term gets mentioned a lot because there are shvil angels, people who offer their extra beds and showers to those on the shvil. Apparently there is even a TV show about the shvil angels.

While I have not benefited from these angels I certainly feel like the members of my group are shvil angels..like yesterday when Regina carried my pack when my feet were throbbing or when Fima carried my walking sticks cause he wanted to help lessen my load or today when Guy bought me hummus because lunch wasn’t enough and also today construction workers who we were passing gave us cold water and made us coffee. All angelic acts.

When I think about angels I think about those who are willing to be kind, generous, and giving. I think angels can be gifts from the מלאך universe. In Hebrew, the word for angel is malach…not to be confused with the word for salt, mel-ach. Although…angels are the salt of the earth.

So on this Yom HaZikaron I am thinking about those whose “gift” has unfortunately been their lives for Israel. I passed some of their graves these past few days: at Kibbutz Tzuba, as we walked the Burma road, which was the road the Palmach created in order to get supplies to Jerusalem in 1948, And at a cemetery in Neve Shalom, a cooperative village founded by both Israeli Jews and Arabs.

Today I realized angels make the shvil come alive so it is not just a trail we walk, it’s a path filled with memory, kindness from one to another, sacrifice, and love.