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It’s that time of the year again:  The children of Har Hevron are in the throws of the long summer holiday and all it has to offer. Living in a yishuv, that means loads of fun and organized activities such as participating in excursions, arts and crafts projects, sports events and the all round favorite of course, an “al ha-esh/BBQ” event whenever possible. 

The children of Har Hevron are out and about and the sound of their enthusiastic chantings, laughter and singing can be heard throughout the yishuvim. They pay but cursory attention to the army jeeps that make their rounds through the yishuv to ensure their safety.  

But one would probably quite correctly surmise that in their subconscious mind the memory of this summer of 2014 will forever be marred by the horror and sadness of the brutal murder of three yeshiva students, youngsters like themselves, and the equally horrifying reality that acts of revenge, when hearts are not guarded against hatred and murderous thoughts, can be perpetrated by misguided zealots and in so doing tarnish the collective psyche of Am Yisrael. 

The sound of fighter planes slicing the skies above Har Hevron reminds the children that there are those that are entrusted with keeping them safe from rockets being fired into Israel from Gaza, sending thousands of kids their own age scurrying into bombshelters in various parts of the country. And so this summer the youth of Har Hevron have spearheaded a project making and delivering treats to the soldiers in the South whilst being aware of the fact that one day soon, too soon, they themselves will be called upon to help secure Israel’s future.

But in the meantime … life has to go on in Har Hevron. A melody being sung by a group of Bnei Akiva kids in the yeshuv comes drifting along on a warm desert breeze:  “Ani ma’amin..I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Mashiach…”

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