It’s four days before Passover and I’ve been busy juggling work, housework, watching the kids…all the things we are all doing this week. So when I heard this morning that there was yet another car ramming — a ramming outside of Ofra — and that someone was killed, my heart sank. Because my heart always sinks when I hear this.
And I thought, Oh dear Gd, not again.
But there isn’t much information for hours as they process and tell loved ones and arrange and deal and…I don’t really know what else they do (thank Gd).
So I went back to my work and my cleaning and my watching my kids destroy the house while I work and clean.
Then around lunchtime, I glanced at Facebook. I saw a picture of a beautiful, strong young man rappelling. My oldest son is out rappelling today. So I thought — hey, I don’t know that kid, but I guess Matan sent me a picture of the fun they are having today.
What a gorgeous kid. They look happy.
And then I realized that the picture was from Moshe Saville, the head of the community council of Gush Etzion. It took me a minute to jump from my son, who is currently rappelling down a mountain, to this son.
This son, who is rappelling in the picture.
But isn’t rappelling right now in real life.
Because he was murdered today.
And then my day fell apart, as well it should. Because while Matan is rappelling and enjoying his life with his gorgeous friends on a beautiful day, Elhai Teharlev isn’t.
They both set out this morning. One is gone for no reason other than a terrorist woke up this morning and decided to target that bus stop, at that moment. He decided to kill that Jew, that soldier, that son.
Now I can’t get Elhai’s parents, Rav Ohad and Avital, out of my mind. What was Avital doing this morning when she heard about the car ramming? How many lists did she have in her head of things she had to do to get ready for Passover? How many chores had she sent her other six children to do? Who was coming over for seder? How close were they to turning over the kitchen? Did they plan to take a trip during Chol Hamoed?
These tapes run and run and run in my mind. And as I try to get back to my cleaning, I think about them dressing for their son’s funeral.
The only reason that they are dressing for a funeral for their gorgeous, strapping young son who was rappelling not long ago, and I am not doing so for my gorgeous, strapping young son who is currently rappelling is because…of nothing.
And I have to get back to my cleaning; I don’t have the time to write this, just as you probably don’t have the time to be reading it.
But I don’t have the ability not to write it.
Elhai must be remembered; we must pause from what we are doing to scream and write and question and cry. We must pause to help his family in any way that we may be able to do so. And to think about the never-ending question about how the hell to move forward. Again.
May Elhai’s memory be a blessing, always. May his family find comfort among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. The seemingly never-ending list of mourners.
This piece was first published at Times of Israel.
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