I was just moved to tears - 14 girls and boys from the children's Emunah Bet Saba in Netanya came to visit me with their counselors and director Yehuda Cohen.
We talked about the special nature of running a marathon. Running requires perseverance, determination, hard work and systematic, ups and downs even allegiance towards the running and running itself.
They told me their stories and how Emunah and the children home have changed their lives.
I have experienced many emotional situations in my life and yet I shed a tear especially when I heard the words spoken (attached) by one of the runners....
The Children are running in honor of their personal achievements and in special memory of the fallen from Battalion 13 of the Golani Brigade who were killed during Operation Protective Edge and for their families with whom they are in contact.
They left with our blessings and a book of Psalms to guard them well and successful both in their running as well as in their lives in general.
Letter from one of the marathon runners:
I wanted to say a few words on behalf of all my fellow runners. In 10 days I am going to fulfill a dream, a dream that will turn into a reality - I will run a half marathon on a course that is very far from here - in Miami, Florida. It will be the run of my life.
I am running together with another nine children and four instructors from the Emunah Children’s Home Bet Saba in Netanya. We will also be running with an additional 30 volunteers and instructors from the USA who guided us during the summer during camp.
Anyone watching us on this marathon will see us on track, and everyone will know how we got here. From the support of the staff and volunteers in Emunah who ran with us, and many friends and supporters who believe in me and my friends.
I'm not a professional athlete, nor are my friends, but we are all kind of marathon runners from the day we were born.
Each of us ran his own route, embraced every obstacle and overcame numerous difficulties.
Each of us is very close to the goal - the goal of success.
Each of us is a winner of the marathon.
I decided to run with my friends to prove that we can overcome all difficulties, and to address every challenge – both on the track and on the course of life.
We are an example to all our brothers and sisters in the children’s home to show how will be able to reach our goal - independence, success and a future full of hope and promise.
We run to say thank you to all those who accompanied us from our lowest starting point from where we began – To Emunah, the staff, the children and to our friends from Israel and overseas. Anyone who believed in us all along, encouraged us and gave us strength to continue and to bring change in our lives. Anyone who has proven to us human love, giving and faith can knock down all the physical and emotional hurdles, even if they seem insurmountable.
And now we give back. We are running in the memory of the eight fighters from Battalion 13 of the Golani Brigade paratroopers, who defended our lives and gave their lives as they fought during “Operation Protective Edge”. It's the least we can do for their families.
In ten days I and my friends are going to fulfill a dream. This will be the first time to fly to the United States, and most of us it is also the first professional marathon. This will be an unforgettable experience in our lives and we thank everyone who helped us reach this moment.