These last three weeks have been a total nightmare. It started when we heard the news on that Friday that Eyal, Naftali and Gilad were missing . When it became clear they were abducted by Hamas we pulled together all our resources on an individual as well as national level. My heart and mind like countless others was consumed by these three boys.
As all my friends know I was determined to start each morning with a status on Facebook about how we longed for their return and a related prayer. The boys were all I thought about day and night for 18 days.
In the first week a dear friend of mine, who used to live in Nof Ayalon, took me there. She brought me to the vigil tent by the Fraenkel home. We went to listen to a shiur, pray and show our support and love for the family.
Two weeks later, this past Monday night, we were headed back to the vigil tent where my friend planned on giving a shiur. We arrived at 7:30 p.m. and were intercepted by a neighbor who hurried all the woman who came to listen to the shiur into her home. We knew something was terribly wrong and our hearts plummeted. The news was not yet official, so with tears in our eyes and hopes that the worst was not true, we said tehillim and listened to my friend’s words of Torah. When we were done it was officially declared that the boys were found murdered. I couldn’t speak. We drove home together, a car full of silent women. We were devastated. I got out of the car by the park near my home and sat there. I couldn’t go home. I felt lost and I cried…again.
As of Tuesday morning my prayers took a turn. Since now we are left to mourn the loss of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad we need strength and comfort. I pray to G-d that He fill the void for the families and loved ones as best as possible. I pray to G-d to help us bring about justice and help us rid the world of evil/Hamas.
I went alongside thousands of others yesterday to the funeral in Modiin. I have never witnessed anything like it in my life. I stood sardined between paratroopers, young girls, an older lady that someone found a seat for and a man who started talking to me, only to discover that he was a friend of my father. We got there two hours before it officially started. It was ridiculously hot and yet no one complained. What we did do was sing. Acheinu, Rachem, Vehee Sheamda, Ana Bekoach were repeated over and over again until everyone arrived and then the speeches began. We watched, listened, cried and it was over. Then, slowly, we started a long hike uphill to leave the jam packed cemetery. We had to walk an hour and a half to get to our car and I knew it was a blessing. The heat, the hike and the exhaustion gave me a reprieve from the tears….
Our boys have now returned home, their final home, way too soon. We feel pain and mourn as a nation. The only thing left for us to do for the boys is to honor their memory. Let us keep strong and united. We have shown that we can love and care for someone we have never met. Let us not wait for, G-d forbid, another tragedy to do so. We should love, care and value every Jew now, this minute, each and every one of us. Let us bond together in strength and continue to shine this light we have ignited for the boys. It is sure to bring only good things.
Eyal, Naftali and Gilad you are forever in our hearts.