Sometimes, we have to secretly buy challot from the makolet. We sell until there is nothing left to sell. More likely is that we have the runts of the challah litter — the slightly misshapen but otherwise quite tasty challot. That’s the bakery life, I think.
But I always put challot on the side for chayalim. With four sons who keep getting older and older (and taller and taller), I think a lot about the chayalim who are on duty just minutes before Shabbat. I think about their parents and wives and children who won’t have them home on Shabbat. So I tuck some challot on the side.
And then as close to Shabbat as possible, when I imagine chayalim are feeling the furthest from home, I put one kid in the car and go deliver those challot. Channan actually walked into an army field-briefing with bags of challot. It must be some commentary on our lives and times that he was completely unintimidated by a group of very elite forces and their officers.
My dad came with me once and I watched the emotion of a grandfather and an oleh as he spoke to each chayal.
Today, Yoni was with me as I drove to the tzomet. Yoni needs to get out of the car, to walk over to each chayal while I usually just roll down a window. He talks for a minute and moves on. I sit back and watch as my kids grow up and become their own selves. It’s not always an easy journey (super not easy some days), but I am grateful to spot the moments of kindness and joy.
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