Our Dear Families,
How we wish we could wake up from this nightmare. And hear a different story. Not of an ending, not of this ending that we can’t bear to accept. Of facts that we heard that we are not ready to accept.
We did not imagine it would be like this. With truly united prayer and tears, kind actions and love, Shabbat candles to light up the heavens with our pleas and prayers – all of the Jews – from all walks of life, felt together and came together. We felt fear, of the dark unknown, felt pain and urgency, sadness and desperation. We felt an intense love and attachment to Gilad, Eyal and Naftali. We did not venture to the place that we were brought to so suddenly on Monday afternoon.
For 18 days, we grew together. We grew as individuals, and more importantly, we grew as a nation. We stopped focusing on trivialities, of external differences, and let our internal emotions guide us higher to heaven, together as one nation –with one heart moving towards the same goal.
And now we sit here – devastated. Heartbroken. Lost. Frozen. Pain so raw cannot be put into words, for words cannot produce an action that will remedy the anguish.
Dear Mothers, mothers of three precious, heroic boys, mothers of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal. You have such beautiful sons. Innocent smiles. Brave souls. Please know, you are not alone. “Our boys” – a term that spread like wildfire from Israel to America – they are all our boys. You are not by yourselves. We are with you. With all of our hearts and souls. And we will not forget. No, we will not. Their pictures will be framed on my wall. They will remain our boys forever. They are our sons, our brothers, our nephews, our friends, our counselors and our students. Their bright eyes and benevolent smiles – will forever remain etched in our hearts and souls.
They are our teachers – for they taught us in such a short time what is important in life, they taught us how to pray, how to love and how to feel with complete sincerity.
For 18 long days, we prayed and worried, while you felt things no mother should ever feel. Yet, you rose up higher than us – and you strengthened us – you strengthened the nation – like a true Mother of Israel that we have only read about in the Torah. You worried for the nation and somehow stood strong and brave for everyone else who was falling apart. Your words took care of everyone who needed comfort.
We feel frozen. And we feel helpless. But we must not stop. We will not stop. We will continue what we started. We must keep praying. We will not stop. We will not stop growing together as a nation. Your boys – Our boys – have changed us from standing separately in the four corners of the world, to standing together – close together and learning for each other and learning from each other, running for each other, praying for each other, and moving higher and higher towards a unified nation that shares one heart, that shares one dream and a nation that shares three boys – Naftali, Gilad and Eyal.
We are one nation that looks up to our three mothers who are heroes. And we love you.