Saturday, June 14, 2008

Replacing Pain with Hope

Rami Elchanan

Replacing Pain with Hope

My name is Rami Elchanan. I am fifty-seven years old, a graphic designer and a 7th generation Jerusalemite. I am a Jew, I am an Israeli and before everything else - I am a human being.

My personal story begins and also ends on one particular day of the Jewish calendar - Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement): On Yom Kippur 33 years ago, in October 1973, I was a young reserve soldier finding myself all of a sudden in the midst of a terrible war. We set out in a company with 11 tanks and ended with only 3 tanks. There, in the Sinai sands, I lost some of my very best friends. I came out of this war a beaten and battered young man - An angry and embittered, cynical and furious young man. I was determined to cut myself off from any sort of involvement - political, social or anything else.

I was released from the army and built me a life: studies, family, career…
23 years ago, Yom Kippur evening, 1983 a sweet new babygirl was born in Hadassah Hospital, in Jerusalem. We named her Smadar.(It’s from the Bible the Song of Solomon, meaning “The Grape of Vine”) She was a very vivid, smiling, happy, full of life and active young girl who joined our calm, happy family…and so we lived complacently, my wife Nurit, my three sons and this princess, in a bubble that we built around ourselves…

Until about 9 years ago, when, on the 4th September 1997, this bubble of ours was smashed to smithereens… (Thousands of pieces?)...

Please read complete story here

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