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Eitan's Drawing

Since the festival of Simchat Torah, Eitan Fish's drawings are no longer strewn all over the house. He was a talented artist; coloring miniature superheroes, sketching highly detailed pictures, and once, he drew on the walls of the entire ‘safe room’ (mamad) at home with illustrated images taken from Winnie the Pooh.

Where did he find the time? Eitan loved developing his talent. Even while learning at the Hesder yeshiva and as a combat soldier and commander in the Tank Brigade, he continued to draw, and in his vacation time at home he would improve and polish his work. The moment the war broke out though, everything changed.  Eitan and his soldiers got organized at lightning speed and headed from their base to the area around the Gaza Strip. Eitan defended the kibbutzim, helped to fight off the enemy and then prepared to enter into combat in the Gaza Strip itself.

When the forces entered Gaza, the decision was made to leave him in a position outside. Eitan waited for a miracle, hoping that he too would be sent in. When he received permission, he was delighted that he would be given the privilege of participating in the battle.

One day, David, Eitan's father, was organizing the 'messy corner' in the house, which , like most messy corners, was full of loose pages (do you have a corner like this in your house too?). Among the papers he found a new drawing; a soldier with a sword in his hand, holding a child with his other hand, both striding towards a tank. There was no doubt what this drawing portrayed; a soldier who had found a kidnapped child and was returning him home.

The drawing as a whole wasn't complete, but a lot of care and detail had gone into the tank. Only a soldier who served in the Tank Brigade would be able to draw a tank like this one. Later, his army friends would recount that every spare moment during the fighting, Eitan would look around, as though searching, in the hopes he might find one of the kidnapped. The mission to return them was always uppermost in his mind.

Eitan wasn't able to finish what he began. He fought in the north end of the Gaza Strip and saved the lives of dozens of soldiers. An anti-tank missile, which is especially powerful, hit his tank and he was killed. If you look at Eitan's drawing, you'll notice that the sword is taken from the company badge. Eitan dreamed of fulfilling his vision, as well of that of all Am Yisrael – bringing all our kidnapped citizens back home.


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