How many years have gone by since I met this rare, Protected HolyLand butterfly? Ten. It was in 2008, Rachel’s Mother, Frieda A”H passed away on January 4. Before she left us, Frieda, some weeks before we lost her, urged Rachel to fulfill her plans, and go to Israel. Rachel was headed to Tel Aviv to join the Public Accounting Firm of Ernest & Young. Rachel, shrewd as she always was, told her Mom that she would stay by her side, and wave off the excellent job offer. Frieda remained strong to the very end, and in her way, told Rachel Go! Rachel, just 2 weeks after Frieda died, was flying to Israel.
Me? Frieda’s loss changed me much. My concerns about dying pretty much evaporated. Maybe that’s why I made this trip? I wanted to visit Rachel, just 6 months later, see her new apartment, and show our extended family in Israel that we supported Rachel. Rachel met Uri at about that time, and fast forward to today, they have 2 sons, and Rachel is Happy. Very.
My resolve to bust out some, after that horrific 7+ years, nourished my decision to hire Eran Banker, who guided me up to the top of Mt. Hermon. I gulped and rode the 7,000 foot cable car to the top of the mountain peak. Mt. Hermon is known to be the only place in the world for some 12 species of butterfly. I could not have known then, that the north face of Mt. Hermon would today be a Hot! battlefield, with absolute carnage, boiling up just where Eran and I looked down on Syria from our mountaintop perch.
Here’s one of the very rare, Protected butterflies that we found and I shot on that biblical mountain, Nordmannia myrtale, she perched on a leaf, in the early morning sunlight. Those 7 hours on Hermon delivered rare butterflies time and time again. I think that day aided me, I very much needed to heal, and I needed to bust out!! I needed to take a respite from that recurring thought: ’40 Years . . . 40!’
For an unlikely street fighter from Brooklyn, who managed to make it, and married Good, So very Good, and who withstood deceit from trusted associates, and who . . . finding the rarest of the rare on a fabled mountain of the Bible, with the sun lashing us with its 95F waves, greeting these extraordinary butterflies was so very Special. I thought up there, Thank You G-d, for dishing out Yo-r most special butterflies, to one so vulnerable, as I was there and then. Honest.