As the Jewish people prepare for Shabbat, it is once again with a sense of sadness, as Shalom Ba’adani, a 17 year old boy, was laid to rest today.  Shalom was another victim of Wednesday’s terrorist attack who died of his wounds.

Shalom was a yeshiva student, and was on his way to the Western Wall when a car slammed into him.  It is hard to imagine a 17 year old boy breathing, living, learning – and then simply gone.  He was on the cusp of his life when it was so cruelly taken from him and from all the Jewish people.

Shalom was living a Jewish life in a Jewish city in a Jewish country – the only Jewish country, and for that, he was a target.  Who knows what teachings he could have contributed to the Jewish world?  And who knows what contributions have now been lost.

The wounds that Israel’s enemies inflict on us are hard.  And painful.  They sting.  They bite.  They bleed.  But ultimately, our collective soul remains undamaged, because our sense of purpose is not in doubt.  It has always been about Jews living freely in a Jewish land and being able to live a Jewish life.

Shalom represented all of that.  Although his soul may have departed this earth, the lesson of his short life remains with us.

To be a free Jew in his own land.