Gregory Meeks (D-NY) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) sat across from Ofir Shaar and Rachelle Fraenkel – they sat together as parents, sharing and talking about their children.
Ofir Shaar, explained how meaningful it has been to meet people that have referred to their sons as, “our boys”. That the world has adopting their children as their own.
Rachelle Fraenkel, expressed gratitude and amazement that her son has not been forgotten, as she thought would happen after shiva was over. The conversation ebbed and flowed from a discussion about their children, politics, and their plans for the future.
And stories of personal struggles came out – Dana Rohrabacher shared of the praying at the Western Wall for his daughter as she battled cancer last summer. The anguish of the unknown, the knowledge, that as a father, he had no control over whether or not his daughter would be taken from him before her time. Expressing the feeling that what happened to their children resonated with every single parent.
Promises were made – as Gregory Meeks vowed to make sure that the murder of Gilad, Naftali, and Eyal not be in vain. Every child should be able to leave school with the assurance that they will arrive at home safely without being abducted and murdered by terrorists.
From New York to California – from both the Republican and Democratic parties – they showered support. Promising that the boys would not be forgotten – that their death continue to bring global awareness to the heinous actions of Hamas and other terror organizations throughout the world.
And Rachelle and Ofir felt their warmth, as they had felt for the past two months. They listened to the congressman share of the pleads, the prayers, and the general sentiment of support galvanized by their constituents over the course of the abduction of the boys.
Rachelle spoke about being part of OneFamily, knowing that they are now part of an organization that will never leave them alone in this journey of bereavement. The Fraenkel and Shaar families joined OneFamily for the bereaved parents’ retreat last week – meeting other parents, other families that have lost their children.
They left each other with handshakes and hugs – left personal phone numbers and email addresses, and promised each other to remain in touch.