Among other issues, you spoke of how frustrating writer’s block was for you. I’ve been experiencing that lately, and to a certain degree, at this moment as well. Each word I type must be sensitive and written with caution because I want to respectfully honor your memory without offending. The investigation is still underway and no one knows for sure if you committed suicide or if your death was a result of yet another terror attack. Recently, I’ve read a couple publications about you that were based on assumptions and driven by selfish motives to make religious or political points. I found them to be quite tactless. I’m vehemently against spreading rumors and made up reasoning, and don’t wish hurt you, your family, or anyone else who had the privilege of knowing you. Therefore, in order to redeem some of the less thoughtful writers out there, I’m not going to focus on the details of what led to your unfortunate demise, but rather on a few of the great contributions you made during the course of your life.
The moment I heard you were missing, my heart dropped, a feeling we’ve all had much too often in recent months. Immediately after, I Googled your name and found your blog, “Sparks of David” and your Huffington Post article, “Secrets Don’t Get Better With Age: Why I’m Choosing Leadership Over Secrecy.” Upon reading several of your pieces, I wished I had met you. Although our pasts and inner struggles were tremendously different, we found identical tactics to combat them. We resort to the same kind of therapy. Writing is our shared solace, even if you were much better at it than I am. Your insights were filled with such truth and depth. In the Huffington Post blog, you discussed how important it was for people to share their pain, not to bottle anything up, and to know that assistance was out there for whoever sought it. Your courage was most admirable, and allowing yourself to be as vulnerable as you did displayed great strength. Public vulnerability takes guts, and regardless of the cause of your death, I will continue to believe that you possessed them. Similarly you said, “any good leader knows that they must sacrifice their own comfort as they confront core issues that those less capable choose to neglect. It’s what makes a pioneer a pioneer.” Not only were you a leader and a pioneer, but you were also a voice in a disturbingly silent room. The four perverts who molested and haunted you beyond your childhood years must know that their atrocious acts did not shut you up. In the beginning you obeyed their repeated demands to “be silent [because] it was immodest to speak up or draw attention to oneself,” but after eight years of going through the trauma alone, you successfully forced your demons out. This, David, is winning the battle. By sharing the story of how your innocence was brutally stolen from you, you shed light on a grave sin that perpetrators strive to keep hidden.
When considering the justice that had yet to be served, you claimed, “Is it fair? No, it’s not. But I know I can do something positive for humanity, especially for those who were robbed of their innocence by child abusers. I can offer hope, counsel and guidance to the still-suffering.” Based on this, it becomes apparent that you spoke up not only because it released personal horrific memories, but mainly to assist others with resembling pasts. Regarding whether you should join the American or Israeli military, you pointed out that “The Israel Defense Forces is an army that fights for her nation’s survival and the absence of its warriors equals destruction from numerous regional foes. America is not quite under the threat of total annihilation… Simply put, I felt I was needed more in Israel than in the United States.” Here is another admirable example of how you placed your energy where it would provide the most aid. You clearly made the most of your time, and this determination qualified you to serve as a sharpshooter in the Givati Brigade. Although not in a military sense, I fully understand acting on the reality that Israel needs me more than America does. That exact logic is what made both of us move to this bizarre country. Whether through your army service or writings, you brought some hope into a hopeless world.
Your funeral on Har Hertzl was just a few days ago. Initially I was somewhat confused as to why this cemetery was chosen to be your ultimate resting place, considering you hadn’t fallen in battle. Then I remembered that as Jews, we focus on what a person did throughout his lifetime, not how or why he died. One’s death should not define one’s life. Further, I realized that Har Hertzl is where we bury modern-day heroes, those who defend our people in a physical sense, as well as those who help our nation in an emotional way. In your short twenty-one years, you accomplished to do both for the Jewish community. It is clear now that Har Hertzl is the only appropriate place for you, a hero with both a uniform and a voice, to finally find eternal peace.
A fellow blogger who rediscovered her voice upon hearing yours