We saw their photos.

On the news. In the papers.  On the internet.  On social media.  On our bimah – where we placed them for all to see, along with yellow       ribbons, less than two weeks ago.

 

In a moment of despair, the psalmist wrote in the 121st Psalm:

Esa einai el heharim…I lift up my eyes to the mountains.

Me’ayin yavo ezri…From where does my help come?

Ezri me’im Adonai…My help comes from God.

The psalmist could see, with his own eyes, that tomorrow would be better.

The psalmist – by lifting up his eyes and gazing ahead of him – by looking
 at the mountains – could see that all was not lost. That God was still 
there – bringing strength and hope into the psalmist’s life.

The psalmist reminds us of the power of our eyes to see our hopes, to see 
our future.

 

In the photos of Gilad, Naftali and Eyal we could see their eyes.

In their eyes we saw tomorrow.

In their eyes we saw hope.

In their eyes we saw Israel’s future.

In their eyes we saw our own children.

In their eyes we saw ourselves.

In their eyes we saw the spark of the Divine.

In their eyes we saw their souls.

 

Their murders have filled our eyes with tears.

We mourn the loss of our boys, Gilad, Naftali and Eyal.

We pray for their families.

We pray for Israel.

Like the psalmist, we lift up our eyes and ask, “God, where does our help
 come?”

Gilad, Naftali and Eyal’s eyes have been closed by those trying to crush the
 Jewish tomorrow.

But, we still remember their eyes – open, wide and bright.

Looking up and
 out to tomorrow.

We must never forget their eyes.  For what we saw in those eyes can never be taken away.

The Jewish tomorrow.

Israel’s future.

Our deep, powerful connection to the boys – even though most of us never met
 them.

 

Their eyes have been closed – but their souls live on.

And our eyes are open.

 

While we weep and ask, “where does our
 help come?”, we must lift our eyes and allow them to see what the boys saw: a
 bright future.

We owe it to our boys to overcome this tragedy and keep the spark of the
 Divine that we saw in their eyes alive and well in our own children’s 
eyes.

We owe it to them to do everything in our power to insure that those who forced the boys’ eyes
 shut never succeed.

We owe it to them to do everything we can to keep Israel’s children safe and secure.

We owe it to them to promise ourselves that as dark as today might be, that bright Jewish 
future that the boys saw can be a reality.

And into this future that we must look for as we lift up our eyes – we are 
obligated to carry the spark that we saw in the boys’ eyes.

In Gilad’s eyes.

In Naftali’s eyes

In Eyal’s eyes.

Their eyes are now our eyes.

 

Esa einai el heharim…I lift up my eyes to the mountains

And we must look towards tomorrow as they did.

Me’ayin yavo ezri…From where does my help come?

We must look forward with hope.

Ezri me’im Adonai…My help comes from God.

With eyes lifted up, with eyes wide open – we move forward – together.

 

May their memory be a blessing.