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The Centenarian Poet

In the house of 88-year-old Shari and 99-year-old Anadad Eldan from Kibbutz Be’eri - the walls are made of glass. This is the style of home belonging to a Hebrew poet who has a creative spirit. Anadad published his first book of poems 65 years ago, and since then has written no less than 15 poetry books. He wrote about the Land of Israel from his perspective, through the eyes of a fighter in the Palmach and a combatant in the War of Independence, the eyes of a farmer and a teacher in a kibbutz.

Anadad saw an emerging country as well as the establishment of the state. In his hundred years he witnessed history being written. But he never would have thought that in his very old age he would be part of such an important war in the history of the nation of Israel.

On the morning of October 7th, Shari saw what was happening in the kibbutz. The terrorists were patrolling outside her house. They saw her and she saw them. She didn't try to hide. How could she help her beloved husband go to the bathroom, for example? Their caregiver had left two days prior. Now everything was up to her, and she didn't want to disappoint Anadad.

Her initial decision was not to tell him about what was happening. He was already in a poor state, hard of sight and hearing, and with limited mobility, "but very assertive and very clear-headed," related Shari. He was her main priority and she didn't want to restrict his movement, so she just spared him the details.

Anadad and Shari's daughter, Eshkar, worriedly called her parents. Shari told her she heard gunshots. "I wasn't afraid," said Shari. She didn't know everything that was going on at the time. "I probably have an internal mechanism that allowed me to disconnect, a survival mechanism that managed my sense of fear and got me to function, I would even say function exceptionally well." Shari felt that her job was to "take care of a hundred-year-old man" and she handled it perfectly, which gave her the strength to get through the long hours until the rescue forces arrived to remove the terrorists from the kibbutz and lead the survivors to safety.


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