|Yonaton Eldar h'yd|
In Israel the winter of 1992 was famous for its blizzard. Shilo, the Shomron village which is my home, was snowed in for three days. For two of those three days the electricity, the water pump and phone lines were all not working. At one point I went to my neighbor across the street and she told me, "I think Avital is in labor." I could not understand how she could know such a thing. No one could have called her. The two block walk to Avital's house was almost impossible to trek due to the snow drifts. Her answer floored me. "I heard it on the transistor radio," she said.
Although Avital was not mentioned by name, the national news had indeed reported that a woman in Shilo needed to be evacuated in order to give birth. It had not been easy to evacuate her. The first idea was to send in a helicopter but it was not able to land because of all the snow. The second try was to send in an army half track truck. It's mission was successful. It took Avital all the way to Tapuach Junction where there was no snow. There Avital was transferred into a waiting ambulance and arrived safely at the Tel Aviv hospital. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy. A week later when Yonaton Yitzhak had his brit milah there was still some snow on the ground. The story of his birth became one of our favorite Shilo legends.
As in most communities Shilo has its share of beloved stories. Many of them come from watching most of our children grow up, mature into responsible adults, marry, and have families of their own. Lives become very intertwined when living in a small community and we share sorrows and tragedies, as well as joys and happiness.