Monday, July 09, 2007

Syrian border

Good morning all - spent the night at a kibbutz for our anniversary. We met up with the group that went to the Golan Heights for dinner at a restaurant owned by a former Colonel in the army named Kobe. Great guy.

So after dinner Rabbi Jay Moses, who is charge of our program, gets up and announces our simcha. So the two man band starts to play music and the next thing you know we are up and dancing. Was classic way to spend our seventh anniversary. We will always laugh about it.

Woke up this morning and went up to the Israel Syria border. Funny part is that there was a ski slope/alpine slide near it - was awesome.

We then went to the outpost where we looked over Syria. It was so close to where we stood it's insane. Kobe said we were 24 miles from Damascus. Just wild stuff.

Cindy Chazan and I walked over to talk to the two soldiers in the outpost. Cindy is originally from Montreal and started talking to one of these young men who spoke great English. So she asked where he was from and he said Toronto. His name is Zach Nussbaum and he made ayliah a year ago and is here by himself. When we asked why his answer was simple, yet floored me. "I am Jewish - I felt it was my responsibility to do it."

Wow. 20 years old and he sums up a feeling of why we do what we do in our community standing on the border of Syria. Wild.

Think of the sacrifice he made? And to do it all by yourself??? He left everything he had because he felt this was something he had to do. He could be in college drinking a Molson Canadian dating coeds and look where he is.

Just makes you proud to know kids like this exsist. Hope is here in Israel - I'll say it again - American media sucks!!!!! Anyone from the New York Times or Canadian Post talk to this kid???? Just absurd. Stop trying to sell news and show the truth.

OK - soapbox moment - and now the moment is over.

We took his picture on someone cell phone and we have Zach's parents number. We are going to call them to let them know he's doing well. We will them get their email and send them his picture. This is a call that usually would seem weird - but I am sooooo looking forward to making it and letting them know about their son. They should be very, very proud of him.

We also gave him and his partner Vladimir from the Ukraine bottled water, m&m's, ruggalah, and a GQ magazine. If we had it on the bus we gave it to them.

After wishing him well and saying goodbye - he went back to work and got back to watching his post. I hope he knows how much the short visit meant to us - and I hope it made his day if nothing else. I know that I am going to tell his story to everyone at home. Zach earned that respect and opportunity in my mind.

Off to lunch now and back to Jerusalem for graduation. Only two days left here - where did this trip go? Time does fly when having fun.

Until later....

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