Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, murder, Naftali Frenkel, soldiers

The Right to Live

I stare at the blank screen and all I see is tears. My tears are staining my hands as I write, staining my shirt, staining the keyboard. We are a people who has endured and endured and endured. 

And risen again. 

But it doesn’t get any easier. 


They were taken from under our noses.

An open door. 

A symbol of welcome, of hospitality, of understanding how things work here, in Gush Etzion, and in so much of Israel. 

A chance to take three beautiful teenage boys home to their waiting parents.

And then gun shots.

And these are our partners for peace. And we are told over and over and over again that we’re being stubborn and ridiculous and illogical and intractable. 


And we are “intractable” when you take three of our babies and murder them. And that we must, as Obama has finally decided to say after 18 days of silence and the murder of an American citizen, “show restraint.”

We are a nation completely broken. We have spent 18 days praying for the return of Gilad, Eyal and Naftali; watching their friends walking around their school, Machor Chaim, in a daze; watching our soldiers show up at our doorstep exhausted, drained..and yet hopeful. 
We have spent 18 days hugging the Frenkel, Shaar and Yifrach families and watching an internal strength that I can’t even begin to imagine.

And now, tonight, my dear, beautiful children who are privileged to live on the Land that we have fought for and won over and over again are asking me WHY.

Why did all of our prayers go unanswered?

What purpose did our prayers serve if the boys were already gone?

Why would people do this?

Will I be safe in my bed tonight? Did you lock the door?

Are a bride and groom allowed to cry at their own wedding tonight?

Will there be another uprising by the Arabs?

Can I walk alone to camp tomorrow two blocks from our house? 

I have being sitting on Facebook all night hitting the Refresh button. Hoping that it will refresh with different news, with other information, with the admission of a mistake.

But instead, it refreshes with the pummeled armored vehicle that was transporting the bodies out of the Arab village of Halhoul. 

They threw rocks at an army vehicle transporting murdered bodies. 

And it refreshes with the horrific details of the murders.

And it refreshes to reports from CNN where they were still wondering if the boys had actually been kidnapped – when they were already reported murdered.

And it refreshes with a statement from one of the murderer’s mothers saying she is proud of her son and she hopes he never returns to them. And that he gets away with the murders.

She is proud of her son.

And the pain simply never stops.

When will it end? When will it be enough? When will the world wake up to the anti-Semitism in France, in Belgium, in the United States, in London?

When will the world wake up to the murder of three completely innocent teenage boys in Israel and declare that it’s simply enough?

That we are a people that deserves to be alive.

And to thrive in peace and quiet.


And so, while we mourn and tear out our hair and wait for news of the funerals, we gather. Tonight there were gatherings at Tzomet HaGush, down the street from our house and right by where the boys were taken. There were gatherings in Tel Aviv and in the Shomron. Jews getting together to light candles and to sing. To cry as a nation and to mourn.
Tzomet HaGush: 11:30pm June 30th
To mourn. For our collective, painful, irretrievable loss.

Today was the last day of school. Tomorrow our children will wake up to the first day of summer.

And to a funeral for three of our boys.

And to a funeral for three of their brothers.
And to more questions. Some of which I will be able to answer, and some of which I will not.

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