Accompanying shepherds from Halet Makhul passed quietly

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Rachel A. and escort, Translation: Danah Ezekiel 

We accompanied B. from Khalet Makhul.

It was a quiet day, good weather, despite the weather forecast of a heat wave. .

We grazed in a very arid area. Here and there a thistle. On one side was a military base that must not be approached. On the other side is a field that has not yet been harvested and must not be grazed. But the sheep do not despair. Wandering about, heads lowered, they search for those unseen stalks.

After grazing, they return thirsty and gulp down half a water tank that costs 200 NIS for three days in the summer. And then, hungry, they ask for food.  Hay mixed with some processed barley is prepared for them, because the price of barley has risen to unsustainable heights for the shepherd. (The Russia-Ukraine war is raising the price of grain, as the largest food source in the world has been blocked and the price has risen insanely.)  In short, the situation is very, very serious. Poor quality food reduces the amount of milk in the sheep and so it is a wheel that turns backwards and adversely affects everything.

During the grazing, a captain arrived from the base closest to where we were, and asked to apologize for the incident that took place here yesterday i,e soldiers in a military jeep ordered the shepherd to leave the place. The officer said that although it is a firing zone, grazing there is allowed. He has a religious appearance - a skullcap and two side curls dangling behind his ears, but he’s not a settler. He is a repentant Tel Avivian from a secular family. He’d suddenly seen the light,  and he is currently educating young people into that light. Love of Israel etc. Who are the young people? The soldiers, of course. There was really nothing to talk about other than the love of the land that belongs to 'us'. It must be said that he has a captivating smile and is ready for conversation.