Gilad Shalit Home

During Chol Hamoed Sukkot, the intermediate days of  Sukkot in Jerusalem,

 huge crowds gather at the Kotel, the Western Wall,

for Birchat Kohanim, the Priestly Blessing.

They stand in long lines to greet the President at his annual sukkah open house.

However, this year all media attention has been on the return of Gilad Shalit.

1000 days after he was kidnapped on June 25, 2006,

 a night-time rally was held by a tent in Jerusalem

that was erected near the Prime Minister’s official residence.

At first

it was a simple affair,

staffed with one or two volunteers

and some banners.

Then July 2010,

 the Shalit family walked to Jerusalem from their home in Mitzpe Hila

and took up “residence” in the tent and a small food area was added.

Real floors were installed on top of the sidewalks

 and the kitchen was upgraded.

Deliveries to feed the growing numbers of workers were increased.

The numbers of yellow ribbons, flags and photographers increased.

Being photographed inside the tent with the Shalits

or broadcasting outside became a media priority.

Tee shirt sales were booming.

Runners in the Jerusalem marathon carried Gilad Shalit flags.

  Additional signs were installed across the street.

Schools from around the world posted signs of support

and were among the hundreds of busloads of visitors.

The tent was insulated for winter.

In the summer, sitting outside was often more comfortable to receive visitors.

With the “5 minutes of silence for 5 years of  captivity” campaign,  Noam Shalit

received extensive media attention for the Free Gilad Shalit campaign.

Dozens of photographers looked for a winning shot.

TV news did live broadcast as the busy intersection came to a stop.

The next day the Shalits checked the papers to see how the event was reported.

Then on day 1934 of captivity,

it was announced that a prisoner exchange had been agreed upon.

 Gilad Shalit was coming home.

The family returned to their home, the tent was emptied and closed.

Today the Shalit family and much of the country is euphoric.

Everyone wanted Gilad Shalit home, after his 1941 days held in isolation in Gaza..

But there is another side of the street… at what price?

The counter protests were small, but sincere.

Many family members of victims of terror feel betrayed as their loved ones’

killers are set free.

Is a deal that releases multiple mass murderers who are determined to kill again,

really good for the country?

25 thoughts on “Gilad Shalit Home

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  • October 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    It`s really a moving post and so are the news from Israel today. I`v follow the case by Twitter..and it moves me to tears.. only reading all the message. Can not watch TV from my work computer:-(
    I have never seen this tent, so thanks for all this pictures.
    I don`t know how good it is that all these prisoners released, but we cannot do anything other than pray for you and your country.
    There has been extensive coverage in the Norwegian newspapers today. And from what I can see, (from where it`s allowed to comment) the comments there are many who support Israel in the Norwegian population and they are also very happy that Gilad is free.

    Hope you have a nice week!:-) Only 2 weeks left for me to visit your beautiful country

  • October 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    You captured the mix of emotions beautifully, as always. As happy as I am to have him home with his family, I am so very frightened of what awaits us. And I cry for the families of the victims of the terrorists who have been set free. I guess we’ll all have to wait for true justice.

  • October 18, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    Amazing, beautiful post. Hope you don’t mind if I share on my blog.

  • October 18, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    I hope the world is able to comprehend how precious one life is for us…blessing on Gilad and on his family and friends. You have documented this aspect of Israeli society and Jewish life, so well, in your pictures. Thank you.
    it is my sincere prayer that the released men and women use the remainder of their lives for good in the world…their world and ours.

    • October 18, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      Hope you are right, but when there are large celebrations in honor of mass murders, there is a basic problem

  • October 18, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Thank you for this and all your posts. Baruch matir asurim.

  • October 18, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    Well done. Thank you. BRM

  • October 18, 2011 at 10:03 pm

    This shows the LIGHT that is in this LIFE worth a 1000 deadly ones.The G-d of Israel is LIGHT and LIFE, and those who can’t see it sadly choose to kill themselves in the effort to remove G-d’s people from His land. Well Done Israel…and Baruch Ha Shem Adonai Yeshua!

  • October 19, 2011 at 3:03 am

    We have all prayed for Gilad’s release. Today is a Yom Tov for everyone who watched and waited. The bereaved families watch with happiness for the Shalits and also with a heavy heart. We hope that we all have only unimagined good news for the entire year. Moadim L’Simcha – b’frat l’Gilad!

  • October 19, 2011 at 8:55 am

    Look at us, at Gilad, his family, friends and supporters, and then look over the fence at the
    “other side” celebrating the return of mass murderers. How joyous are we that Gilad has returned home and how at the same time we grieve for bereaved families..
    How all of us, the Shalit family and all Am Yisrael conducts itself with dignity and decorum. How sad and how proud we were to watch Gilad being interviewed on Egyptian TV. At every event or Chug, we prayed for his return. May we, at every event or Chug thank HaShem for his safe return to us?
    The mass-murderers may celebrate now, but somewhere deep down in their soul, they know that they are stained forever with the blood of our children, brothers, sisters and parents. I pray that our bereaved families find peace. Amen
    Once again, brillaint photos and comments.

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