Gilad Shalit is Home and Yes, I am Excited

I wrote a blog last week when we heard Shalit would be freed, and some felt my use of the word “excited “ was an inappropriate emotion to be feeling, when you factor in the release of the Palestinian prisoners.  I wavered on the use of the word, but now that he is home, and we have seen him, I am indeed excited.

I woke up early this morning and watched Gilad coming home online.  I cried when I first saw him.  I was overcome with joy, relief, and gratitude that this lovely young man was home.  Even though he is 25, to me he is a child. My child.  I wanted him to be okay, and I prayed he would be free and back in Israel with his family.

I understand the sacrifices that Israel made to bring him home, and that there is a price to pay, but I believe his coming home alive and well was worth it.  I am excited for his future, his family, and for the message that is sends to the people of Israel.  In a country where military service is mandatory, his coming home means everything.

Rob Eshman, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of The Jewish Journal, wrote an article yesterday about Israel’s history in terms of releasing prisoners, and the fact is that this has been done before.  Israel is a country at war, and because she requires her citizens to defend her, she also assures them she will bring them home safely.

I want to hug Gilad Shalit.  I feel as if I know him because he has been in my prayers for 1941 days.  I love him and he is a symbol of the resilience and strength of Israel and her people.  Best of wishes to not only Gilad, his family and friends, but also to Israel and her people.  It’s okay to be excited. That’s why we keep the faith.