Thursday, February 11, 2016


Today was the 19 anniversary of Israel's most lethal military accident, when two large transport helicopters flying troops into Lebanon collided, killing all 79 personnel aboard both. This morning I listened to a radio interview with a bereaved mother, talking about her beautiful son who should have been 40, but died at 21. As happens in Israel, she's still in touch with many of her son's mates (that's the closest thing English has to the Hebrew word Chevreh). Yes, it can be very painful to watch them go through life, but in a strange way it's also comforting: this is what Avi might have been; this is the stage he would be going through; these are the things he would have been doing, or thinking, or saying.

Asked if it ever still happens that she'll see a stranger on the street who resembles Avi, she  stumbled for a moment. Once, she said, as I was driving, suddenly in the back seat of the car in front of me there was a young man who seemed just like Avi. I never arrived at wherever it was I was driving to; I just kept on driving behind that car.

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