The First Rain Fell Again

16/01/2012 Mashka Litvak

Arnon, my big brother,
Thirty five years went by since the day you were killed. It's the same kind of autumn; the fields have the same brown shades of color, just before the wheat sprouts. The first rain fell, and I feel the same hard feelings of pain and longing as always. All those years and I still love you and hurt at your loss. From one life event to another my longing for you becomes stronger. Sometimes I find myself speaking to you, telling you what I've been through, what happened to me and even ask you some questions and wait for answers. I cry while speaking to you. My tears flow, even after such a long time, as if they have their own will. A month ago your fourth grandson was born, just at the beginning of the year. Like every happy event in our family (which happened this time at the Jewish New Year), this event was also diluted with the sadness of your absence, of you not sharing the joy with us. Your absence is like a wound in my heart which will never heal. It's hard for me to describe the pain of longing. This pain takes me far away from here. I disconnect from the world I live and sail with you above in unending circles. Only the tears are a sign of my inner storm. When I land back in reality, my body is loose and my soul is shut until the pain lessens.
This is what has been going on for the last 35 years and in all of that time there has been nothing that could keep your memory away from me, nor dim my pain and fill the big hole which was created inside me. Time froze on November 4th 1970 at 07:10. In your photo which I hung on the wall you are 26. Every time I look at it I see you, my older brother, it is as if time had never passed and you stayed 26.

 We disengaged from Gaza, the same city in which you were one of the soldiers who conquered it in June 1967. I, who wanted to know that you came out alive from this war, hitchhiked into the main street of Gaza with a leading military tank truck. I asked about you, somebody called you and you drove to meet me on a Jeep. We met in the middle of Gaza's main street. Around us people were still shooting, we hugged

and cried. Thirty eight years passed by and only now have we left Gaza.
Thousands of families became bereaved since then. Who knows how
many more families will become bereaved.

 Exactly ten years ago, on the same day we had your 25 year memorial ceremony, about ten hours after I put flowers on your grave, Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister who believed in peace and in a future of hope and reconciliation, was murdered. Since then the fourth of November became a national memorial day, but for us it will always remain your memorial day. Each day will go by, one year after another. From time to time I'll find myself shedding tears from pain and longing. I never will be able to know in advance when it will happen to me. It will come without warning, maybe because of something that happened, something I read and wanted to share with you. I miss you always, you are inside me forever, until I'll join you.

I love you, my big brother,


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