Fiction | May 07, 2016

I didn’t know it at the time, but his compass was already set east, toward the Israeli army, and that very spring he made aliyah to Israel and became a chayal boded: a “lone soldier.” At his funeral four years later, I saw the phrase written down in English characters for the first time and realized it wasn’t “loan,” as I’d always thought of it—like we were loaning Jonah out and would get him back eventually—but “lone” like only, like alone.

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