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Yaron's Writings: Army Days 2





  Dan Leon

  Ramah & Yehoshua Zamir

  4.1 Early Childhood
  4.2 School Days
  4.3 Army Days






Yaron's Writings

Army  Days
| Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 |

Poem by Nathan Yonathan


A country that its countrymen devours,
Of milk and honey, blue skies and flowers

It sometimes even robs 
The poor man of his lamb.

A land whose gentle clods enfold, 
Of salty shore end tours untold 
And we its lovers - giving all 
That we could give.


I spent a full week in your kingdom and I am still dissatisfied
I am writing you from a distant place but here too
Come the echoes of advancing civilization
Despite the relative isolation of the place --

My forced flight to you gave me the opportunity
To come out of the gray routine forced upon me for so long
That even now continues to follow me --

The spiritual peace which I found in your kingdom is still not
The quiet I need, although it did give something to me,
That momentary quiet of a few days in this kingdom.

It is possible that I am seeking and pursuing a place that exists nowhere
A place where the desired peace will be present.
My pursuit of my very existence and this struggle without means
And against the need for material things, will surely overcome me again.

Man is but a tree in the field - when he is alone
He must grapple with his existence and his very survival hangs in the balance -
For he must deepen his roots in order to continue and survive
That is man today - so that he desires to take flight,
To get out of his routine and for me it means going off to a lonely island,
or a mountain somewhere.
Yet even in such places he has to contend with the place.
With his spirit that drove him to flight and with the need
To live - to exist, that is to say to eat - however little - but to eat.

In this is revealed the greatness of the ascetic, the person who wrestles
With his body without regard to the material needs of his body
Which it also signals.

The ability to wrestle for a long time with your spirit without
Hunger and the environment torturing you or disturbing you at least for the shortest time
In regard to the person mentioned (who is wrestling with his problems all the time)
This ability marks the greatness of him that can do so!

From: Yaron
To: Idith

Idith, Shalom

I'm writing to you out of an inner urge to hear what's been happening with you in the last few months.  Since Yaniv's death I've entered a sort of 'black period', if one can define it thus. A kind of terrible lack of concern and emptiness as regards my surroundings in every sense of the word.

This finds expression in varied ways, both towards things I do myself and for myself and also as regards things which are or are not done towards the outside.

It's hard for me nowadays to be happy and enjoy things which I used to enjoy before his death. I miss him in a way which is hard for me to describe in words and neither can what is done in his name make up for this.

Purim in the kibbutz, which is always thought and carried out with lots of work, publicity and special cultural forms, is celebrated this year a week after the date since this was the day after the 'shloshim' (30 days after Yaniv's death) and the atmosphere in the kibbutz is quite difficult and heavy.

I feel that its hard for people to celebrate and enjoy themselves, to make merry as they'd like, to remove the heavy burden and take things easily, even if the conditions, like music, food etc are available on the spot.

I went into the Purim party of the kibbutz members and felt so superfluous - without the desire to do anything, yet on the other hand understanding that its hard to run away and leave everything. Without any outside pressure - that's the way in which I believe.

Ok, write or phone,  it'll help me a lot and cheer me up. (M.P. 03057) preferably in writing. I still find it difficult to express emotions on the phone.

See you, 

Another rainy Friday
And once again feeling so much in love
Sitting in my warm room, reading the poems of Nathan Zach,
And listening to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young,
And the chorus of  'our House'.

On two cats in the yard and a good home.
Turn over the record, go over to James Taylor,
Carolina in my mind.
But in my mind there's someone else, different,
What a shame you're not here with me.
I'm feeling confused again
Another cup of tea, sweet and hot
A marvelous song from the loudspeaker, it sounds so near,
So truthful, Sweet Baby James,
It's hard not to identify with it --

From: Yaron
To: Yael

Dear Yael,

I've been wanting to talk to you for a long time and since it hasn't worked out up to now, I've decided to write.

There are things which its hard for me to say in the presence of other people. What is more - there are things which are too personal for me so that I don't want others present even if they're my friends or are somehow acquainted. There are a number of points about which I'd like to talk to you:

First about you and also about myself.

Every time I see you my heart contracts, a sort of stabbing pain; and then I so much want to come to you, hug you and do something which Yaniv can no longer do, to speak to you alone...but you are so cold, Yael, it's so difficult to get near to you.

Yael, as the time passes Yaniv's absence pains me more and more, for as I wrote 'he left a gap which is absolutely impossible to fill'. I go to the grave alone, and sometimes I feel as if the two of you are buried there. Only then, when I'm alone without lots of people around, I see that social pressure which doesn't permit one to get rid of natural instincts, those tears and aggressiveness demanding some outlet.

Over and above this, I want to do so much for his memory, and I feel a sort of inability and feebleness and a shortage of air....

I don't have to tell you that Fridays aren't Fridays and the Festivals aren't at all happy. I come home almost without the desire to do anything, lie in my room a lot, read, write and kill time.

And there was a time when it was so different..

There was Saturday with Dani and Elad and Yaniv; Friday afternoons, just to exchange experiences from the army, to plan something for Saturday; a hike, a match, and the main thing - together.

Now there remain only a mass of questions as regards why. They're asked within us even if the answer is known in advance and that makes me even angrier.

Hoping to see you, sit down and talk a lot.

Be strong

From: Yaron
To: Yael

Dear Yael,

Now, at any rate, when I'm writing from my room, with the little photo of Yaniv inserted in a teak wooden frame before me, its hard not to become sad again, even though I have much pent-up anger, a sort of anger which I don't know whether to express and if I need it altogether - a sort of pressure of exasperation, why he of all people, why is it his picture before me, and again I see and think how much I miss Yaniv.

I personally have already told you that I can write, and things are formulated quickly with me and if I'm on the way to somewhere, I simply put pen to paper, put it in my pocket and if I can, continue later on.

Regarding Yaniv I have a sort of added strength of ability and desire to write about him as the time passes, how I miss him and feel about him, and the words stream onto the paper or get stuck in my thoughts.

In our discussion on that Friday night I believed, and I still believe now, that its going to be ok, mainly because of the lack of an any alternative and the lack of desire to believe that things are going to go badly.  Perhaps now I know that that's what escaped from my lips, and possibly I wanted to say something different, but that was apparently my feeling even if the situation and the mood between us was sad and hard.

Apart from this, I didn't want to finish a talk like that one and tell you 'to be strong', which gives more of a feeling that I'm reciting this from some part of a book.

Your letter was wonderful from an emotional point of view, and it's style of writing very much draws me to write to you and receive answers, it's only a shame that the subjects are so hard and painful to people.

I want to talk to you about what we went through that night, and on how we feel, here with young people.

Try to let me know or through somebody, when you'll come North. 


From: Yaron
To: Yael

Dear Yael,

I'm writing to you from the army base, a few hours after returning, in spite of the Saturday which I lost.

I'm still full of impressions, with that wonderful feeling of having been with you at that marvelous place called 'Dolphin 9', something like 'San Francisco on the water'.

Simply sitting together on the pier, with time unimportant, and a night of full moon, which gives content to the silence and emptiness all around, the sort of content which you'll never find in a place like Ein Dor, Tel Aviv or other places.

And those people around, each with his own world and story, and yet enjoying sitting somewhere far from the world, each talking and spending time with a few others like him.

The day and a half I spent with you in that wondrous place, which maybe only I see that way since I'm a stranger coming from a square framework, and the short time I spent there, and above all the marvelous reception and warm manner in which I was received and which you offered me all the time I was in Ophira.

All this together, with the openness towards someone strange on the part of Ingrid, Naomi and the other girls, and even Shimile - gave me perhaps for the first time in my life something which its hard for me to express in writing, and also in words - a supreme spiritual feeling.

Now, a week and a half later, I'm sure I won't forget that day and a half in Sharm.

That's it for now, I want you to feel well and hope that Elad and Dvora, Chito, Ofra and Gilad will enjoy it as I did

In friendship

From: Yaron
To: Dalit


Now that you've gone and left me with my pain, I remain cut off, trying to hold on to someone. My heart aches with pain - that heart which holds within it so many feelings, often unsaid.

You gave me a little, a tiny minute portion of passing happiness, a touch of satisfaction and perhaps I am nevertheless so enamored of your strange behavior, that unfair attitude of giving and not giving yourself. And I, who remain on the other side of the barricade, again remain on my own, alone and disillusioned, unable to get rid of my burden.

I come with so much to give you, so much good will which comes to nothing.I so much want to talk to you, for you to devote more to me. That you should devote a night of yours to me, an evening which won't end up in a sort of painful suddenness.

I want to do so many more things with you and it doesn't work out, you always hold back when it slips towards the right direction, towards trying - you are afraid of the attempt and fly away to another momentary flower which will soon also wither away. And you'll fly off again, skimming off briefly, without purpose and dooming our relationship to failure.

I want to take you - to go somewhere isolated alone, to a nocturnal star, to climb the Tabor mountain, to break the routine, no longer to be square - this is what I want and yet don't and can't succeed.

I know you'll understand my feelings, that you'll see it all in the corner of your wise eyes, into which I so love to look.

I know you won?t be hurt - I want something more from you without security borders, without a framework which will force its bars onto us.

Be well

From: Yaron
To: Tsipora, Gilad and Hades

Shalom Tsipora, Gilad and Hades,

Monday night, boredom all around and I'm on my way to sleep and muster strength for tomorrow, which brings a short course (until the end of the week) for armored car drivers. The course was meant to start today but because of certain problems they didn't accept us and we came the long way back (after Nablus) via Beith-Sha'an.

I was at least consoled by the fact that the route was beautiful and new to me and apart from one occasion, a few years ago, I haven't traveled this way for ages. Nablus is a charming city and I'd like to do the whole area once in a jeep, simply to see it all.

Apart from this: I spent the end of the day reading Dan Ben-Amotz's last book 'Fucking along' which held me in its spell. I simply enjoy his language and fluent writing, with the inner monologues and the leaps from section to section. The book speaks relatively less of fucking than 'Fucking isn't everything ', his last book, which gives it more significance. Anyone who doesn't like him doesn't have to read him and that's that. He gets me, and his outlook and life experience interest me. End!

As regards last Friday, my parents were with you as I said and stayed until the morrow. I reached the kibbutz at 4 p m. and fell asleep until 10 p.m. and that's how almost the whole of Friday went!

I was dead from the army brigade maneuvers and made up for lost sleep. It was a shame it was at the expense of Friday. At 11 p.m. I went with Ra'anan from kibbutz Gazit to pick some watermelons and melons and we went to Baith Sha?an to visit a crew of ours which stayed there on Saturday. On the way back we also went into Geva to visit someone else from the unit and I took Ra'anan back to Gazit where we sat another two hours. I went to sleep at 3 a.m.

Saturday - swimming pool plus first basketball training.

That's it this time. I'll try to write if I don't manage to come now and then.

P.S. important: please send as a standing order a parcel of pears or apples from kibbutz Eilon. This is a very important point!

See you and love to you all 

From: Ima and Abba
To: Yaron
Saturday 24.10.81

Happy birthday, dear Yaron,

In a few days you'll be 21.

And in your third decade we greet you in the hope that you'll know how to fulfill all your strivings and abilities.

Since we'll be in Egypt on your birthday, its worth emphasizing that one can and must be optimistic - its a fact that we've reached the beginning of the way to peace with one neighbor and there's no doubt that a great deal of the breakthrough was thanks to Sadat's activity.

Conclusion: that man can influence the historical process through his actions! This has vast importance for all of us - that we won't surrender to the 'inevitable' but will always try to change and improve things ? for a great deal depends on us.

Meanwhile all the best
With love
Ima and Abba

From: Yaron
To: Naomi

Hello Naomi

Friday, evening - and I'm doing my weekly switch-board duty, listening to good Israeli music by Mati Caspi - a new record!

Next, I went over to kibbutz Eilon yesterday and since  Gilad is on reserve duty in the army, I spent the afternoon with Tsipi and Hadas at the grandparents' house. Afterwards we put the baby to bed, it was wonderful! Hadas is growing up and already speaks and walks a bit and behaved well. She's so sweet - this is the age when I like children, so I enjoyed it. My approach to tots is that between one and three is that this is the age when they are still naive and not corrupted by the environment - they absorb everything and bring out what they can.

That's it, otherwise not too much is new - I'm counting the days which make up the week and wait for the end, which is still far off (a month and a week). Hope the time will pass quickly in this last year in the army as well. That's it this time, hear from you later, 



Night once more and I fall into sleep
It's as if my matter's exhausted - matter that's my body,
Trying to connect my parts but failing to do so
Like a child trying to put a puzzle together with parts missing
Thoughts confused and sleepless I wander off to another place
In it just my thoughts or is it my sleeping?s gone mad?
I don't want to close my eyes - I want light 
Want life, will morning come again?

From: Yael
To: Yaron

Yaron Shalom

I wanted to write to Chito and Ofra, to Dvora and also to Elad and Osnat but here I am writing to you. Apparently, I wanted to write to you most of all. And now I can't sleep and the sun is already rising. Sunrise. Perhaps these lovely moments are worth everything.  What I mean is that here the events aren't so sharp, actually they take place vaguely, in the past and only the beautiful moment of the sun rising is before me,

In one of my letters to Yaniv I wrote that I hope we are facing the rising sun. Then I was full of hope and love. I wrote this to him and it was in this that I indeed believed. That we are alive and we are right and we are sincere.

I believed that the two of us together are on the highway, each one in his own right and with the love of the other. And now? The memory is orphaned. It has no future. Words can't change the reality.  The hope remained as a hope. Who knows what fate is in store for it? Will it be consummated or will it disappoint? I was left alone on the road Yaniv left me, left us. Yaron, what will be? You said then, at the end of the night talk, when you went - that it will be ok. As for me, I'm not at all sure. Sometimes all that occupies me is the concern for my mother and brothers. I don't want mother to suffer any more. I can't cause her such great pain. To live from sunrise to sunrise? The sunrise here is really amazing and even now its still going on and taking shape.

Yaron, I can't put on paper the things which I thought of writing. Perhaps next time

The sun is already completely round and giving me light as it shines outside. Giving light to me and to the page I wrote.

Will we never never reach Yaniv again?

Be well Yaron and see you 

From: Yaron
To: Yael

Yaeleh -

Your letter contains a lot of sadness which bursts out, emerges from the page and causes my throat to choke, a desire to cry over it all, to cry on you Yael, to cry on a wild and abandoned girl who seeks a happiness which does not exist, a lost reality which ended between the year after high school and the sand and shells in a magic Sinai bay. And in spite of all, I know that tomorrow will nevertheless come, and you'll be so far away and you will turn over a new and clear page to a future far and undefined.

When we are within a circle of people, even if they are our best friends, its hard for us to talk, to express ourselves, to come out into the open with each other.

I feel a lack of confidence, so choked and square, so conservative, in need of someone who will release me from this terrible framework. I so want to be free, and not only because of the army, but also when I'm at home doing only what is expected of me.

I so want to be like Amitai, who started dancing and jumping during the hike, without giving a damn about anybody, doing what he felt.

I want to be Yaron and not the kibbutz's good little boy.

The words evade me again, again I'm confined within myself.

What a pity you aren't here, to give me a shoulder to cry on, to be a wall for my prayers.

From: Yaron
To: Yael
1 2.82

Shalom Yael,

On weekly duty at the gate again, with the radio and some book, reading to kill time.

In these mad days its rather difficult to write what?s going on around and with me,  but there are lots of efforts to find a way out, searching, if to continue in the army this way and here or maybe get a transfer to some other position.   And as everywhere, there are good moment ? and there are those  moments you're in a lousy mood, worn down and dejected.

There are a lot of hard periods and uncertainty about the future, about the days lying ahead of us as now ? when I myself know many things that most of the army and the simple citizen doesn?t know, and this gives me a strange feeling ? a sort of pressure in the stomach, a feeling one can?t describe in words.

I can't go into more detail; what?s missing, I?ll tell you when the occasion arises.

Look after yourself, 

From: Yaron
To: Yael

Shalom Yael,

As usual, I want to say a lot, but don?t know how to bring it out. 

I find it difficult with you, Yael. How we succeed in lying to each other (is that the way to put it???), it's absolutely amazing..

When we met a week or two ago, at the Afula bus station, the time we spent until you left was simply a 'bluff?! Because we have something to say to each other and there is a basis for this, something authentic which comes from the heart, and yet, we aren't capable of talking to each other except about material things, like: whets new, satisfied or not and so on.

And each time I eat myself afresh, why does it happen? Why is there so much tension and inability to open up, to tell the truth, to speak of the things which we really want to discuss.

That's one of the reasons I write to you so as to convey it in a different way. I know that this way I bring you what I have to say in full sincerity, without a bad conscience.

A year has passed, a mad year, time rushes on and the dates engraved on the calendar only hurt us anew, hit at us again.

And memories which still remain so utterly fresh, like an open wound which refuses to heal.

And there are memories in plenty, and there are opportunities to remember. The minutes pass, positions change but there are things which remain stuck, unable to move.

Yaniv on the basketball court managing to drive everyone mad!  It was altogether impossible to discuss with him or to point something out to him and not because he saw himself as a great player but because of his actual personality.

We were bitter enemies on the court, 'eating' each other and enjoying every mistake of the other side! Absolutely! But the moment the training was over - friends and brothers again, activity in the kibbutz high school, getting things organized, work in the fields, a summer that never ended, and going to the army, accompanied by a lot of help and encouragement from all the various classmates from the kvutza.

That's how it was with me - observing from the side, it's easy to comment. And now, in the army I come home for the weekend and I so much want to put things right when there is injustice, to take part, to initiate, to make sure all will go properly without things being messed up, and there is so much to do and I'm only one person, alone.

Well, as regards aspirations and good intentions, you'll read in the next chapter, until then be strong, don't let little things cause you big problems, and if such exist, simply climb up several degrees and float above them! I'm serious!

I still hope we'll manage one day to sit and talk for a longer time and more seriously.

In friendship

From: Yael
To: Yaron

Dear Yaron,

You know how to surprise people.  First, in Sharm, then today at the base. Surprise which hit like a wave of warmth, bringing happiness, bringing light. You also know how to help, to turn up at such a particular moment when one is in distress, in trouble, and to offer help quietly. And all this is sheer surprise. Giving a helping hand - all this is like 'and there was light'. I thank you so much. Always.

I don't know if I'm succeeding in showing you how difficult I find it to express myself in words, and then I begin to feel ashamed. Just like that, without reason or explanation - I'm embarrassed. But once again Yaron, I thank you so much for being what you are to me, the way you are to me, you are simply good, goodhearted, thanks.

We don't manage to meet much at weekends. Mine are always so confused and crazy. Then, more than on other days, the pain beats inside, carrying memory with it. And inside, this pain physically shakes all my live nerves and everything shivers, trembles from the power of the pain. Then I must move quickly from place to place, from person to person, not to stay for a minute in one place, lest I sink and fall down into the abyss. And frightened and painful emotion grips me and then I'm here and there and everywhere, noisy and laughing and yelling, above all not to be seized by the threat of the pain, not to be pulverized by it.

Out we'll certainly sit together and talk. We have done so several times, and this is what assures me that it will happen again. Each of our meetings in life has a destined time in the pageant of our existence. Our time will come again. I don't know what exactly is happening with you now. If its good for you, let it be good. Maybe its not so good; then let it get better. That's how I want it to be for all of us even though its simply insufferable to go on living in darkness, without light. I'm searching for the light of my life, which was extinguished. You came to me in the afternoon. In the lighter hours of my days. In the hours when a yellow sun polishes the green of the earth and everything looks better, and so I sounded optimistic, full of hope. But that's not how it is always. The beautiful rhythmical changing of nature exalts a strong life but sometimes there comes a shock and not from the direction of the army but from the feeling of longing which again and again passes through me for my man, for Yaniv.

Things are not yet organized and clear with me, not yet and I don't desire ever to live in harmony with Yaniv's disappearing for ever.

So what? What? - I don't know, I'm here, there and everywhere. Least of all am I in the army. And what's with you, Yaron?

Be happy, one must certainly learn how. But one is nevertheless alive, now at least, eh? 


From: Yaron
To: Dalit

There were two friends in China many years ago.
One played the harp wonderfully, the other was a singer
When one played or sang about a mountain,
His friend would say:
' I can see the mountain ahead of me'
When one would play about water, the listener would cry:
'Here a river flows'.
But the listener fell ill and died. His friend cut
the strings of his harp
and played no more,
And ever since then, to cut the harp strings is
a symbol of real friendship.

There are difficult things which must be said sincerely, even if it hurts.

I have been concentrating for many months on the word at the head of the page: Dalit. Sometimes more and sometimes less - sometimes I want to forget you, not to remember at all. I don't succeed, I can't.

A shame - we were together so many times, and its a shame. I'd like to talk to you a lot and always feel that I haven't managed to tell you everything.

It's true there was a serious talk with my sister-in-law Tsipi and she's a terribly understanding woman and pushed me to create relations with someone from Ein Dor-Gazit, someone with whom there is some basis, somebody so close to me in many senses - and that's you.

Dalit, I sometimes feel like one who builds a castle or a tower out of cards and every time, before the last card, the tower collapses - and one starts building again from the beginning.

I'm not broken, I won't be broken so quickly. You can see me as one who sticks like glue on to others, or simply as a bother, but somewhere you are the water for flour which makes it adhesive.

In our meetings, we always tell each other of problems which we have -each one separately; you with your boys and various painful incidents, which according to my impression always pass over; and I with my insincere loves, loves which lack real love, immature loves.

Why don't we try to build something together?

I have complete faith in you and you are well aware of this and yet you play with me, with my soul, and today you hurt me again, hurt me badly, Dalit!

I don't ask for pity, oh no, only without pity!  I want understanding, mature speaking one to the other, not as its always been - I want you to believe me and in me.

I want to build something new with you, from the start.
Shalom Dalit,

Here it's late, another night of mad February, hot, so hot outside and inside, yet in the heart so cold, a sort of weakness, inability, mists of depression surround me.

I don't want to pinch your heart or to ask for mercy, I want to express myself, I'm looking for a way to remove what is inside me, to empty the load I'm carrying alone.

I'm writing to you because our friendship is too hard for me to bear, because I simply feel deceived - losing unfairly.

You don't give me a chance!  I only ask to talk, no more, the past is dead for me and the memory of what happened then is beautiful now, today.

I'm not asking for your hand or your heart - only want to preserve, if possible, minimum contact, a contact in which it will be possible to talk to each other in an open, sincere and decent way - without any message just to give each other the right of speaking and feeling.

I'm simply fed up of the experiments you're carrying on with me, and even without your knowing or feeling (for under pressure its easy to lie!). They are too hard for me to take. One can compare it to the man who wanted to eat the cake and yet leave it complete.

You will say  ?I will come tomorrow? - but since later on your heart spins, you won't come.

When we have a chance to speak, we'll lie to each other, we'll beat around the bush - can't we speak in a sincere fashion?

Perhaps there is such tension between us and we simply fear clashing? Perhaps? Dalit - for a long time I have expected nothing and my heart is still wounded from my own harming someone else. I don't ask for commitments or credentials. All I want is confidence, sincerity, a warm attitude - and all this only if you want to give it, to present it without the feeling that you may be ensnared, trapped.

I only want a bit of attention from one who gave this in the past, and I'm sure that today too you have something to say, and not only listen.

I don't want to burden you any more.

Please answer even if you don't know how to write (and as advice I'd say: let the hand write what the heart and the mind dictate!). If you don't want to be in any sort of friendship - just write, tell me this to my face, even if its very difficult.

The thing will simply be closed for good and then I'll know that you don't want a friend - I still want to sit quietly and talk.


6.3 82
Hello Dalit,

Another Friday in the kibbutz, a bit dry, sad and depressing.  Nothing to do, no people close to me to talk to and this is what I really miss.

I haven't been home for two weeks and it is exactly this which gives me strength, something refreshing - to come after not being for some time, even if its only 14 days. One week I spent in the base, almost without leaving it, and the second week (which is now over) I was mostly in the Golan Heights, on an army training exercise.

I at least exploited the opportunity and dropped over for 18 hours to Natur the new and young kibbutz on the Golan Heights with a good friend from the Golani and apart from supper and sleep we managed to work about three hours in their orchard. I pruned young saplings; not particularly interesting but at least you feel you're contributing and not eating for nothing like someone who comes only to shower, sleep and eat.

Even though I'm sure that nobody would say anything to me on the subject or anything similar - altogether after a week of being there, they know me and I know all of them, some more and some less, and I hardly have a problem of approaching someone. Yesterday (Thursday) I came in the evening to Ein Dor along with the same friend and thus I finished the week.

I expected that perhaps the victory of Maccabi Tel Aviv would take people's minds off current problems but we lost and that's more fuel for the bonfire which is in any case too big and blazing too well in all directions (Yamit, the occupied areas, Druze in the Golan Heights etc.)

Unfortunately, the army is involved in all of these as a deterrent factor  [103] and works according to assumptions given at the top (government) but this doesn't detract from the acuteness of the problem.

From the very fact of my being close to these things, I know how dangerous and unpleasant it is, especially with the Druze.

Maybe I'll sound a bit illogical, but I very much fear the possibility of war and not in the North, since Begin and his government are very mixed up and confused as against the internal problems which now exist, and since they don't want a civil war etc. a surprise is possible, I don't pretend to be a prophet and don't wish this on anyone - but the present position is most depressing.

Your letter of reply was very characteristic of you, I re-read it ten minutes ago and I'm sure that in most stages of the writing, you were laughing or smiling to yourself, as always in moments which aren't convenient for you - I'm not complaining, on the contrary - your conclusions are all yours, in both meanings...

Get on, enjoy life as long as one can, enjoy what you're doing, that's the most important thing! Write occasionally even if in very brief!

Always happy to get a sign of life from you.


Shalom Dalit,

I had already come to believe that after my last letter the slender connection between us would be broken off. It's good that sometimes there are surprises. Your letter indeed came at the right time and brought a refreshing gust of wind over these last 24 hours.

24 hours of a new week, 24 grey, grey hours, one hour after the other and all because of some military exercise I participated in.

I still cannot open up towards you and its a bit hard to write after a long period without hearing from you, and for you too, the way I see it, it was a long letter, right?

I'm already thinking how to finish off this letter and I still want to write so much; not so logical, right? Maybe its really because of the strong desire to tell of a lot of things which happened to me since last February (1981) which was somehow a turning point for me (with Yaniv's death).

Until the recent period I felt very introverted. I lacked the desire to sit with friends as before (and there is a cause for this which I'll tell you on occasion). A sort of repetitive atmosphere in which there is nothing new; emptiness.

A week ago I was on a regular leave and spent a wonderful week on kibbutz Natur on the Golan Heights. Very pleasant, but extremely small, 20 people aged 21 to 20 or something like that. I hiked a bit in the area along the river beds but above all I worked in most of the work branches - factory, plantation, field-crops, kitchen, avocado. It was an interesting experience and I think I'll also maintain contact in the future.

That's it, I'll tell more at a different time and hope that if you'll indeed want to come and visit in Ein Dor, you won't be ashamed or too busy.

What surprised me in the letter was the optimistic note. I was sure that if you'd really reply to me, you'd simply bury me alive and that was perhaps why I enjoyed your letter.

This weekend I'll apparently stay in the base.

So see you sometime

 The Evacuation of Yamit (from an article in the local kibbutz paper).

We arrived at Yamit on the morning of 19.4.82, Monday, and entered the town in order to take up positions in houses which the inhabitants had left.

In these quarters of Yamit everything was neglected, the lawn yellow and the stench of left-overs in the houses.

There was still electricity and water and after some improvisation we could use them for our benefit. The town was divided into quarters with a commander to each quarter in which he organized groups of 10 people to the evacuation (the groups included girls). Altogether, 5,000 - 6,000 soldiers,

Men and women participated. Each commander had his goals defined on a short-term basis, with the plans sometimes changed, and forced moves to meet the unexpected, and there was much of the latter.

Already on the second day it became known that the evacuation was delayed because of Holocaust Day, something which gave a certain strength to those who believed in stopping the evacuation.

An unusual event in which it was my lot to star was a helicopter chase after a Peugeot tender along desert paths. We identified a tender traveling rather fast and since it isn't easy from above to identify if its a Bedouin (and there are many), we came down to a suitable height and saw a religious man driving alone in this car. He understood that we were going to catch him and started to speed along the road, driving like a madman with the helicopter ahead all the time, descending to 30 centimeters above the car with the man storming underneath us, a dangerous situation because if the helicopter touched the roof of the tender from the air, it will simply crash. When we landed on the road he outflanked us from the right, this happened 4 times and then we went 500 meters forward and waited behind a hillock off the road.

We waited half a minute and he didn't come so we went up high and saw he'd cut off onto a side path; we skipped over there and landed on the way before him, close up, and I leapt from the helicopter and jumped into the back part of the Peugot, which had no door.  The religious driver went into top gear, turned around and traveled back to the main road where he'd been before, driving like a madman with me in the back jumping on the possessions, clothes, rucksacks etc., which were there. He drives on and I shout for him to stop, beating on the window between us (the window can't be opened!) and on the driver's roof, with him looking at me now and then and still driving madly, 80-90 km. an hour on a road full of ups and downs.

Meanwhile the helicopter again outflanked him, reached the road and landed ahead of him and it was then that he decided to stop ? right before the propeller!  We arrested him, took away a revolver he had with him in the front and with another high officer we traveled in the Peugeot, with the helicopter arriving afterwards. One may see such chases in the movies - only gunfire was missing.

At about 3 p.m. there started mighty explosions which shook the area and everything collapsed from the blown up monument. A giant mushroom rose to the skies, from which a spectacular ring of smoke was created.  It was a rather sad moment to see a town in its destruction (neither did it look good from the helicopter) but that is what we were demanded to pay for peace.

Altogether if I'm asked how it was, I think it was an experience. Perhaps not such a pleasant experience but I have no pangs of conscience and regret - certainly not towards the opponents of retreat whom I evacuated.

Most of the soldiers were for the evacuation and those religious soldiers who had to evacuate did the work without blemish. Perhaps it was more difficult for them emotionally but this wasn't felt on the exterior

The physical force which the soldiers used was exclusively bodily, without arms or sticks (except in a certain case) and the soldiers used force only when it was required and necessary in accordance with the resistance and with instructions received from officers.

In the place itself, it was hard to know what was the extent of the intervention of government members supporting stopping the retreat (apart from the extreme right) and the intention is to Arik Sharon, Begin and also the Chief of Staff. Its hard to know if things were staged and if so which and what.  There were at all events many strange things which placed high officers in a dilemma. As regards those citizens who harmed soldiers its sad that they are not to be punished as they should, something which proves how the authorities and the agencies responsible for doing justice are unstable and don't function properly. 


From: Yaron
To: Yoni

Shalom Yoni,

Strange (or is it?) that after some time, one once again feels a longing for the past, to someone with whom one went side by side with for so long, if one can put it that way.

What's more, I'm finding out now that its easier for me to write to you without hurting you or fearing something like that may happen.

Its easier to express emotions and to be critical, but to criticize in good taste, without any desire to hurt the other person. (And I always remember that miserable Friday when you wore jean overalls and I criticized you because of this, and we went back to the room for you to change... remember???).

Today, too, after quite a long time (a year), of our being apart, I'm not sure that I've changed much, but now I'm more open and want someone who will also know how to keep me under control. Someone who will be able to look after her own interests, express her own words, her own desires - but to the very end. And here I must stress that this became more clear for my part after reading the book 'The Bleeding Heart' by the author who wrote 'Womens Room'. Yonah, you absolutely must read this book, if not for me, then for your general education and experience and I'm sure that you too will remember it long after reading it. I think its a 'must' for couples married a few years, and in general!  Simply extraordinary. (If you don?t have it in the library, I'll make sure to get it to you).

So that you'll understand how serious I am about this, I almost came over to you this evening, just to bring the book, but there just wasn't any transportation and that's not an excuse!

I got to the base at 9 this morning and after a meeting returned home at 4 p.m. for a friend's wedding here in Fin Dor. Tomorrow I have to be at the base early, for another lousy meeting -that's how it is when you have responsibility - it has good and bad sides.

I'd very much like to talk to you without the chattering of your friends or those from other groups (even though I appreciate them).


From: Yaron
To: Yoni

Yaron wrote to the discharge party of Goni, his beloved commander of the Golani patrol unit.

To Goni,

Not a letter of praise but a gift to greet you 
On your demobilization - your 'getting away' from the army.
Leaving the framework, entering civilian life
No longer belonging to the unit and adopting its style.

Certain you'll succeed and enjoy being abroad
But don't forget to come back at the end of the visit
We still have to guard the country now,
so leave us some 'abroad' for a later opportunity.

On the other hand, things are functioning here
And yet it will look different,
Without Abu-Giras and without Abu-Ali

Maybe in the end we'll succeed in creating somewhere clean
Somewhere really beautiful - maybe it sounds a bit skeptical 
Happy is he who believes that without "Proper" and "Takura"
It will all work out to the benefit of the unit.




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