This years Succot’s joy; Gilad Shalit soon to be released

Jerusalem, the City of Our Great King, is where I am penning this blog today.

Today there is joy in the land not only for this most joyous Succoth holiday season, but for the news that Gilad Shalit will soon be released from captivity. Today’s newspaper said that as early as this coming Tuesday (18 October) Gilad will be released to Egyptian security officials and a small Israeli delegation. They will verify his identity and that he is in good health. Gilad will then be taken by plane to an IDF base while the first transfer of prisoners, (numbered around 477)  from the Ketziyot Prison in the south of Israel to the Gaza Strip, Egypt and the “West Bank”, with about 40 being deported to other countries (Turkey is one stated as being a probable country that would absorb the prisoners).

Not everyone is happy with the number of prisoners that will be exchanged. I understand the trauma and hurt they must feel, yet I also feel the joy of the Shalit family that there will be an end to their hurting hearts.

Over the last five years I’ve joined millions world-wide in praying for the release of this brave solider as well as his family who nightly would retire wondering if they would ever see their son alive. Over the last few years, as I traveled to Israel, I would make it a point to stop and sign the petition and talk with those who continue to hold the vigil of prayer and hope outside of the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem. A few years ago, as I stopped to chat with those who were manning the table, I reached into my backpack to give them a teddy bear. I still remember how surprised that the one I blindly choose to give them was a TY Beanie Bear named ”Hope” the praying bear.

The other day, when the news was released that Gilad was coming home, I stopped by the prayer tent, once again. They were building a Succah outside of the tent where prayer, for over 1900 days, had been conducted just outside the Prime Minister’s residence.

Hope, a word with a large expectation of good things to happen but also a word that can reflect pain when our hope is deferred. Perhaps now our prayers should be directed to the families who have been impacted by the prisoners that will be released the same day as Gilad as well as the remaining 550 prisoners who will be released in a few months. Many of the families whose lives were damaged by the prisoners will never have the joy that the Shalit family will have once they have their precious son  at home with them again.

The situation is best said . . . It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.

Please continue to pray for the “peace of Jerusalem” and all those who dwell here.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Pollyanna Boyer
    Oct 15, 2011 @ 01:07:42

    Todah Rabbah, sweet Cynthia! Your blog uplifted me and I am grateful to be included on your email list.


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