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We stood in unison, as if we all knew the siren was about to start. We stood, listening to the wind blow through the branches and over the gathering of bereaved children, parents, friends, and family. We stood quietly for four minutes, a calm settled, and then the siren wailed.
Bat Sheva Sadan led the evening. Bat Sheva’s parents, Rav Elie and Dina Horrowitz were murdered in their home in Keriyat Arba on Shabbat night 12 years ago.
Danielle Sharaabi, bereaved sister – lost her brother Ofer z”l in 2003.
I am 22 years old and I live in Givat Shmuel. My brother, Ofer, was murdered 12 years ago when terrorists infiltrated into the Golany units army base in the Jordan valley.
And life goes on and moves forward…..
People change, grow up, and get married. This is simply bizarre that the world did not come crashing down after Ofer was murdered.
How is possible to carry on and act as though nothing has happened?
I think, that actually nothing went on as normal. Not as normal at all – complete opposite.
The truth of the matter is that we try to hide behind our lives moving forward, but we are still stuck deep in that place. Stuck on the loss that we will never recover from.
Ofer was 21 when he was murdered, and me, his little sister is am already 22 years old. Older than him.
Ofer will stay young forever and I will continue to grow and move forward in life.
I have accomplished two years of social services, I started learning in college, I traveled the world – All these are things that Ofer did not live long enough to experience.
Yaakov Lisha, he lost his mother, Sarah z”l in a terrorist attack in 2000
My name is Yaakov, I am 26 years old.
I remember that day clearly, it was a summers day, one of those days when the weather was changing into winter that every so often the sun comes out and the skies turn blue and there is a nice breeze, normal morning, routine, our mother wakes us up for school, we all leave the house together and part our ways with have a nice day.
At the end of the school day, just when the bell was heard I gathered my things and ran home, I can still remember that feeling of happiness as that child, jumped down the steps to the entrance of the house, 3/4 stairs at a time I remember the feeling of hovering, the rushed and intense speed to the entrance of our home. At that moment I was thinking how excited I was to share with my mother how my day at school went. When I approached the door I remembered that this year my mother taught on Mondays as well, and therefore she would only arrive home at 16:00, 16:30.
As the day continued when my mother way late I tried calling her cell phone a few times.
At 16:45 I called my father in panic, when he answered I told him that mom was excepted home already, and she isn’t back yet, my father calmed me down and said that he would try getting in touch with her.
I went out to play with my friends, and when I came back home at 18:00 with my brother, my father was home already. There was a Rabbi and a neighbor present. When I walked in, I was shocked that my father was there due to the time. I asked what happened and he asked me and my brothers to take a seat, then he told us that our mother was critically injured.
This little white lie I wasn’t able to grasp. From the second the words came out of my father’s mouth, I wasn’t able to digest, that exact moment when my brothers and I just stopped smiling. I don’t know why, I also do not remember why. But this was our natural response. After a few moments when I understood the words that were said I began to feel like I was falling.
On Friday, erev shabbat, 24th of Elul תשע”א, Asher Palmer and his son Yonatan who was just a year old were driving from Keriyat Arba to Jerusalem when shortly after a rock was thrown towards the car which caused Asher’s death and due to this the car crashed and Yonatan the baby was killed on the spot, at the moment when Puah was waiting in the waiting in Shaarei Zedek who had just finished a morning shift at work. Puah was in her sixth month and four months after she gave birth to a baby girl names Orit.
I think of myself wearing two hats, one of a widow and the other a bereaved mother, till today I had the strength to see myself as a widow and to speak about Asher today I feel the need to open up a new lane of mourning in the blessed memory as a bereaved mother, tonight I am speaking in honor of Yonatan:
I am sitting and contemplating what to write about my 1 year old baby who just began walking and saying his first and last words in this world, A I feel that it is a mask of life small – large. Short yet long just like a collection of a full life. A mask of life filled with great light in a small body, of a soul so small and cruel murder, of amazing beautiful blue eyes that look at me at the end, tenderness and eternal love, of one pure and naive year, that of an innocents of an infant. The words will never describe you my Yonatany maybe just a drop of the ocean or an emotion that I can feel you in my heart. It burns my entire body to think that with a pen on paper I describe you with letters and words that are just fade you away. If only just for a moment a person would feel you by a short petting then I would say that I would write about you and would be so worth it.
On that dark night when you were taken from me I heard you call out to and say mom, because you were a part of me and I was to you…. And sometimes I still hear the sound of your voice saying mommy, when the silent of the night comes I think that it is Oriti and I run franticly to see what is wrong and I see her in a deep sleep, and then I understand that it is you and I ask myself till when will I hear you calling out to me and I won’t be able to answer, till when will your hands open towards me and I won’t be able to come…
My name is Shirel Dickstein, I am 17 years old and I live in Psagot.
13 years ago we moved to Psagot into a house that was new back then. 8 months after we moved into the new house we went to our friends who live in Har Chevron for shabbos. On our way terrorists started shooting at us. Both of my parents and my brother Shuvel were killed.
I was four and a half years old at the time. I remember it in parts. I remember that we were all sleeping on our way, there was this silence and then I remember the moment after and my sister Ayelet took charge, because she was the oldest. She made sure that to get onto the ambulance. We drove in two different ambulances and we spent the shabbos in the hospital with our injured brother, Shlomo.
I recall seeing my oldest sister cry and I understood that we need to cry, so I cried also. I don’t remember if someone told me specifically, that Daddy, Mommy and Shuvel were killed. I assume that I understood this on my own. When I was growing up it was part of my reality. I don’t remember anything from the shiva, I have a vivid memory of me joining our neighbors on a retreat up north, I think it was during the shiva.
I don’t have many memories of my father and mother. I do remember going with my father to see the new house in pssagot, before even moving in, I also remember him telling us stories. I don’t remember anything from my mother. Even her face I don’t … if I remember, it because of pictures not from real life situations.
My name is Eyal Ben Melech… Gili was killed thirteen years ago, my younger brother, he was I the Sherion unit when he fell in a military mission in Ramala.
When Gili was killed, the skies fell down on to me. This chapter also came to an end for me, also being the older brother, running after him as a child, was taken from me. And I have was already thirty …
Time does not heal. Years pass, and the longing just grows stronger. And this longing kills and collapses. The thought that I’d never see my loved ones again, is a terrible thought to have and intolerable. But time plays an important role in thinking, understanding, accepting, resignation. New strengths come into your mind and body, and the time has meaning and power.
Over the years that have passed since the death of Gili, I had a desire to perpetuate Gili in a way which describes him, me, that describes our love to Israel and the people in it. Perpetuate the love of mine towards my little brother.
Yom Hazikaron is today, and we are here, one big family of families, we are all partners, each of us with longing, carrying the bag of pain and continue to walk together with hopeful throbbing hearts all the time.