The story starts with a brilliant sunrise. The dazzling colors of the sky is like a beautiful wrapping to be torn open to reveal the horrors of the day.

Early in the morning, Shimshon Sheinbaum, a vigorous 75 year old man, one of the founders of the kibbutz where the story takes place and his son, Gideon, a paratrooper in the army, are preparing for the day which will end with Gideon's death.

The relationship between father and son has always been strained. The son has never been able to like up to his father's expectations. He does not possess the manly qualities which his father admires. He is too soft on the belly, without the drive and ideological conviction which characterize Shimshon and his generation of pioneers. The story takes place on Independence Day. In celebration of this holiday, Gideon and his army unit are going to perform a parachute jump in the area of the kibbutz. Shimshon Sheinbaum is looking forward to the manly handshake he and his son will be able to exchange after the jump. He feels that his son might not be a complete failure after all.

As Gideon floats through the air, he is imagining the pleasure of finally gaining recognition from his father and the rest of  the kibbutz. Suddenly it is no longer enough for him just to be one of many paratroopers, he wants to stick out, be unique. He decides  to pull the cord of the reserve parachute. For a few glorious moments he hangs in the air, a solitary figure with everybody's gaze at him. Then the wind changes direction and he is pushed towards the high power lines along the highway.

He is caught in the lines and hangs between heaven and earth. What was supposed to be a heroic landing becomes a humiliating event which ends with Gideon electrocuting himself.

The invincible Shimshon Sheinbaum collapse in the flowerbeds which he himself has planted. The father has been the cause of his son's death.