Thinking about the attack by Hamas on Israel, Saturday, I went into my files and pulled out a poem written about a visit to the Armory at Latrun during my 2006 pilgrimage to Israel. The photo below is of an Israeli soldier at the Wall of Names Memorial of fallen soldiers.
AT THE ARMORY ON THE SABBATH DAY
We visit the Museum of the Armory in Latrun
observe Merkava Tanks, the best in the world
solid and serious—
built to encase Israeli soldiers
in a womb of steel
built to show the enemy who’s boss
and we see names, row after row of names
etched on a long dark wall
exactly 4,498 of them—
the names of soldiers, mostly young
killed in Israel’s wars
Our guide points to one, newly engraved
It is his friend, Oz
who died a few months ago
Oz, who fought at his side
in the war against Hezbollah and Lebanon
the war we watched on our American TVs in June
I talk with three young soldiers holding M15s
ask if I may photograph them
They politely decline—
It is the Sabbath
One of them
has carefully knotted tzitzit
protruding from his olive drabs
Maude Carolan Pych
 Tzitzit are the specially knotted fringes, attached to the four corners of the tallit (prayer shawl), worn by observant Jews.
"Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee."
Psalm 122:6 KJV
by Maude Carolan Pych
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