Jordan Valley – shepherd accompaniers

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Rachel A., Rachel A. (reporting), Tal Haran (translating)

Dedicated to the late Yohanan Darom in grief and loving respect

We accompanied Burhan of Khalet Makhul. It is a pleasant winter day, the hills are greening, a wonderful landscape stretches over the hills, the Jordanian villages in the east and the mountains behind, and in the west, the hills are colored depending on the clouded-over sun. In the south – the colony of Roi and next to it, Abu Saker’s encampment. Surrounded by the 3 military bases in the area.

It was a quiet morning. Just as we got back to the encampment, it began to drizzle. Then giant drops began to fall, as if quite intended. On the one hand, this delights the shepherds. On the other, cold weather is not good for birthing. But that’s life, each shepherd whispers. We begin to see the newborn lambs. May they thrive…

My own little shepherdess joined us in our accompaniment:

The sheep are able to eat nonstop. They return from grazing to their troughs, filled with almond peels, a bit of straw and water, and then go to rest.

We pass the time speaking about Yohanan Darom who died this week while accompanying the shepherds. Sorrow fills all our hearts. The two of us – Rachel A. and Rachel A. - have known him from our phone talks and WhatsApp messages, whereas Burhan, Yusuf and Smaher knew him as a father, a friend, whom they adored. See Instagram posting about this. It is hardly imaginable how deeply he affected the shepherds and us.