To Eyal, Gil’ad, and Naftali:
Monday’s events ended what could have been an opportunity to stand together as brothers of an eternal cause. Greater than our individual selves, the oath to brotherhood defines what it means to be a Brother of Alpha Epsilon Pi. What began under the Washington Square Arch of New York University blossomed into a larger community of Jewish men seeking acceptance and fraternity in a growing world of anti-Semitism.
Acceptance. All three of you would have been welcomed with open arms. We share a common history, a common language, a common set of beliefs, and more importantly, a commitment to maintaining Jewish traditions in an environment where it may not be as simple to do so. College, as well as life, opens our minds to new ideas, new concepts, new beliefs, and above all, new people. Most of these people may not tolerate your beliefs, your religion, and in some cases, your existence. But in Alpha Epsilon Pi, you would have been fully accepted into our arms, into our brotherhood, and into our achim.
Fraternity. We would not have judged you for your level of observance, for your commitment to Zionism, or for your familial background. You would have been our brothers, and nothing would ever change that. Our roots run deep in the quest for keeping our community together. We have done so for the last 101 years. Until the end of time, you would always be welcomed into our community and given the rightful welcome. You would have had a network of brothers to reach out to if something troubled you. Like a bridge over troubled water, we would have helped you move past any struggle and ensured that everything would be okay.
You could have been my brothers. Our brothers. This week, however, we mourn your tragic losses in a world where Alpha Epsilon Pi is truly needed most. We face plenty of hardships ahead of us. On campus and in life. In the United States and in Israel. In France and in the UK. The world may be against us, but we are here for each other. To my fallen brothers, I wish you eternal peace and pray that your memories will forever be a blessing. To the Jewish people. To peace-loving people around the world. And most importantly, to the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity.
We will never forget you.