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Daniel and the Machine Gun

Taken from Danielís mother, Cherylís, comments on one year after Daniel was killed.

Iím going to tell you a well known story from Danielís team. Daniel, as a member of the elite fighting unit, Palsar Nachal, had a long and difficult training period. The culmination of this training was a 90 kilometer trek carrying a heavy load. Each soldier had an additional responsibility such as carrying the radio equipment, being the officer, carrying the first aid equipment and the strong man of the team would carry the machine gun. The soldiers trained long and hard and gradually built up their abilities both to trek the distance, and to carry the load. At the beginning of this trek, the soldier carrying the machine gun collapsed. Daniel, being a nice Canadian guy, went to help his friend. The officer then came up to them and said: Mendel, take the machine gun! Daniel wasnít trained to carry the machine gun and had not been prepared to do it, not physically and not intellectually, but his commanding officer told him to take the machine gun and so he did. He finished the 90 kilometer trek, almost impossible under the circumstances, because that is what he was ordered to do by his commander. And although by the next day he could barely breathe, he soon got over that as well.

I, as a bereaved mother, feel like I am in the middle of a trek that is called life and now, I have been handed the machine gun to carry. I wasnít trained to carry this heavy load and I certainly have not been prepared to do it, not physically and not emotionally. How does one prepare to be a bereaved mother! But I am carrying it because that is what my commanding officer, Hashem, has commanded me to do. And I am doing it with as much dignity and as much positiveness as I can. I am doing this for two reasons, out of love and respect for my beloved son Daniel and out of love and respect for all Am Israel!

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