Any day now, it could happen — that moment the Kalderon family has been yearning for during the 47 excruciating days and nights since the harrowing events of 7 October: Erez, their beloved Erez, will be released. Along with him, over 30 children held in Gaza by their terrorist captors.

For Lee Dan, cousin to 12-year-old Erez, and his sister Shahar, time has come to a standstill, ensnaring her in a maelstrom of contradictory emotions:

“We’re caught between immense hope and profound fear,” he said. We long to see Erez’s smile again, to touch him, to embrace him. Yet, we’re paralyzed by the fear that something terrible might have occurred. I find myself terrified of optimism. ‘What if?’ is a question that haunts us, leaving us in a state of total, excruciating uncertainty. Up until now, we haven’t been provided with a list of the children’s names that will be released as part of the deal. The terror is palpable — it’s devastating, but we cannot afford to break. Not now.

Erez Kalderon was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on 7 October.

Photo: Erez Kalderon was kidnapped by terrorists on 7 October. He spent his 12th birthday away from his family

“Then there’s the dread of what the ordeal of captivity may have inflicted on him, but I’m steadfast in my belief that he’ll be able to overcome it with our support. I close my eyes and envision him and his sister stepping out to meet us — that is the sole image I’m clinging to. Let it be so.”