Published January 6, 2018 by rochellewisoff

This week, Pegman takes us to the cradle of civilization: Tel Saki, Syria.  The country has been at war longer than Pegman has been mapping, so the pictures are confined to photo sphere and often feature shattered lands and cityscapes.

Thanks to J Hardy and his lovely missus Karen for hosting. 😀

I really was going to wait to write a story today, but this photo grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. 

Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 150


                                                                                                                           25 October 1973

My Dearest Y’hudit,

This morning, the doctor told me I’ll be home in time for our son’s Brit Milah. Unless he is a she. I would wink but my eyes no longer work.

Why on the holiest of holidays? One minute I’m davening in shul and the next I’m dodging tanks and enemy bullets. No time to break the fast.

I watched our field doctors bind the wounds of Egyptians. “Would Moses do the same?” I asked Baruch Levin, one of our medics.

He replied, “Talmud teaches, ‘He who saves one life… is as if he saves an entire universe.’ On the battlefield no life that can be saved should be lost.”

Later, one of his grateful patients blew Baruch’s righteous head off. It was the last thing I saw…forever.

I’m sorry to burden you, my beloved. I hope you can still love me.

Eem ahavah,




Brit Milah – Rite of Circumcision, performed when a baby boy is eight days old.

Davening – Praying

Shul – Orthodox term for synagogue

Eem ahavah – With Love


36 comments on “MOST HOLY PLACE

  • Never any winners in war, Rochelle. A tragic, personal story of combat and loss. Your doctor comes across very strongly, his wonderful attitude to healing, regardless of who he helps. Tragically, it could be the loss of his sight that saves Amitai’s life. Beautifully done

    Liked by 2 people

  • My gosh. I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. That’s positively heart-wrenching. That unenlightened SOB thanks a doctor by killing him and blinding another. I think I know who’s going to hell and who isn’t. If stories are successes when they trigger a reaction, count this one an award winner.

    Liked by 2 people

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Once again you have gutted me with your words. Brings to mind one of Aesop’s Fables. This is not the one that I am going crazy trying to find but it is one that is closest to what I was thinking…

    The Farmer and the Snake

    One winter a farmer found a snake stiff and frozen with cold. He had compassion on it, and taking it up, placed it in his bosom. The warmth quickly revived the Snake, and resuming its natural instincts, bit its benefactor, inflicting on him a mortal wound. “Oh,” cried the farmer with his last breath, “I am rightly served for pitying a scoundrel.”

    The lesson: The greatest kindness will not bind the ungrateful.

    There are no winners in war…

    Lotsa love,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      You also put me in mind of the Al Wilson’s song The Snake.

      Nope. No winners in war. Of course, one of the points of the story is that Israeli doctors treat the enemy. I once saw a news story about a Palestinian child treated pro bono by Israeli doctors and his mother showed her gratitude by saying she would raise him to be a terrorist and kill the Israeli doctor and his people. I don’t understand that mindset.

      Anyway…thank you for reading and commenting. Sorry about that gutting.. 😉 Okay. Not really.




      • That song is definitely based on the same fable!

        I bet there were some Palestinian doctors who dis the same (at least I like to think so..)

        No, I’ll never understand that mindset either. It makes me sick.


  • I am glad that picture took hold. It touched my story too, from a different perspective. There is a certain flag waviness in your story, exemplified by the picture. I like the way you have weaved your faith into the story, your feelings on war, to produce a tapestry in so few words.
    While I read, the words, ‘There is no greater love.’ echoed inside my head.

    Shalom, Rochelle, shalom.


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kelvin,

      I noticed that we had different perspectives of the same site. It was the flag that drew me in and sent me packing to the trod the research trail. Thank you for your affirming comments. Yes, “Greater love…” stated by the greatest Jew of all. 😉 .



      Liked by 1 person

  • How interesting that after reading the comments I have lost my own words to reply with – lol

    still chewing on how

    the medic died and that Amitai lost his sight

    and how Alicia noted:
    captured kindness, fear, longing, cruelty and the telling of truth….

    ahhhh – nice fiction and nice comments – so alive

    Liked by 1 person

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