Guest posting from Grandma's Army
And to round up my trio on Latrun, Charles Smith, who joined the Senior Residence complex where I live, together with his wife Shirley, sent me the following short story. One of many among his reminiscences from their 37 years on a moshav (agricultural settlement) overlooking Latrun.
“In 1978, after 3 years in Rehovot, our family moved to Moshav Bin Nun, an agricultural village in the beautiful area overlooking the Valley of Ayalon (where Joshua Bin Nun fought and subdued the locals a few thousand years ago), and the Latrun Monastery. Attached is a picture of the view from our farm and another of our vineyard which is relevant to the story below.
At that time, whenever any Israeli – from my barber to taxi drivers - heard that we were going to move to that spot, he/she immediately trotted out the quotation from the Bible in Hebrew:
“The Sun stood still at Givon and the Moon in the Valley of Ayalon” - Joshua [10:12].
This was, of course, in order to allow Joshua to finish off his adversaries even ‘tho it was getting dark.
We set up and farmed wine grapes on our 10 dunam plot some 2½ km. over the hills from the moshav houses, at the foot of Tel Gezer. In winter the old Roman road on which we accessed the vineyard was sometimes muddy and a little uncertain, especially as dark closed in. This happened frequently since work in the vineyard could only be carried out before and after the full day’s work in our professions.
One cloudy evening after a late night’s work session on the vines, I headed back to the car parked at the edge of our plot, with some trepidation, in anticipation of the drive back home across the muddy dirt roads. Although there was a bright full moon, heavy clouds were moving across, hiding it from time to time, leaving the area in almost total darkness.
On arriving at the car I was horrified to see that I had a puncture. Jacking the car up in order to change the wheel was going to be very precarious, since the jack could slip or sink into the uncertain damp soil at any moment. It was already virtually dark, and it would be impossible to reset the jack under those conditions if it should sink when the punctured wheel was removed - and before I could place the new wheel onto the car’s screws which support it.
Well, having no alternative, I got everything ready, jacked up the car and in the dark, mainly by feel, removed the nuts which hold the wheel onto the car’s screws. Taking a deep breath, I was about to remove the wheel when, miraculously, at exactly the right instant, the clouds cleared and everything was lit up by a full moon. I quickly removed the wheel, fitted the new one and closed the screws, saved by:
‘The Sun stood still at Givon and the Moon in the Valley of Ayalon’.
Needless to say I was very moved by the well-known Bible quote at that moment.