It was summer and we were young and somewhat naïve.
Marriage was new. Living in Israel as responsible adults was new.
Political talk was new.
It was an orange summer.
We were so convinced that orange would be heard.
We wore it everywhere. We raised our orange banners and we screamed so loudly it was impossible to be ignored.
Orange, the color of hopes and dreams, dissolved into the color of fire it has always been.
We were young and life was new.
There was another soul we were thinking of at the time, so the orange sort of faded and turned into the long nights of winter.
We went to an appointment. At 25 weeks gestation, it was a big one. The doctor pointed out every limb and told us how healthy and whole our son was.
In the cab ride home we heard the news.
Arik had a stroke.
There was a moment we had, where we looked at each other and thought it, but the driver said it first.
But the child inside me did too so I forgot all about it.
We didn’t know what the future would hold.
We didn’t know that our son was healthy and whole inside me, but didn’t stand a chance two days later in an incubator.
We didn’t know a man could lie in a bed for eight years and never wake up.
Thank God, he said.
We were young. We didn’t know anything. We didn’t know him.
We knew about orange bracelets and a land we would never give up.
We knew there was a man who was hurting us, so we thought he was bad.
We didn’t know.
She said she was sure.
She would know.
She knew what it was like to drive through a town every day and interact with the locals like neighbors do.
She knew what it was like to suddenly have to change your attitude and begin a safety method which involved locking the doors of your car and hitting the gas as hard as you could, praying you would get out through the neighboring town alive. You weren’t supposed to stop for anything.
She also knew about a man they called the butcher.
She knew to trust him.
She had to trust him.
Everyone had to.
So she knew exactly what happened.
She told us about the man.
She told us he would never give in.
She told us he couldn’t give in.
She said he had to have had a plan.
He was going to leave the land and wait…however long it took…and then when that first rocket hit our soil he was going to rise up and strike.
He was going to raze down buildings and hunt down the people who dared defy him.
He was going to take it all back with a vengeance and fill that land with all the orange he could find.
Then he would turn to the world and say, see? I told you so.
Tovah knows this to be true.
I have to believe it, too.
He didn’t roar…for eight years he didn’t roar…and then he faded away and took all the orange with him.
If I don’t believe with Tovah, what am I left to believe?