Oh how I wish I did not know of you. How I wish I did not know your name. I don’t want to know what you were like, what kind of a person you were. I don’t want to know that you were a loving mother or a caring father or an upstanding member of Klal Yisrael. I wish I did not know the names of your children. Or their ages. I wish I did not know that you have left behind a mother and a father, a sister or a brother. I wish I did not hear the words your friends and families have spoken about you. I wish there were no sounds of crying that I hear in my head from a funeral I wish no one had to go to. I wish I did not know you learned in a yeshiva or a university or that you were a fine soldier. I wish I did not know you wrote a book or a powerful poem. I wish I did not know what color your hair was and I wish I did not see so many different beautiful pictures of your smiling, vibrant faces. I wish I could pass you in a crowd and never know who you were. I wish I did not know your names Dafna, Shlomit, Hadar, and Tuvia Yanai. I wish I did not know of you Alon and Shimon and Rueven. Yeshayahu, Chaim, Alon, Genadi, Yaakov and Ezra I wish I had never heard of you. Binyamin and Omri, Aharon and Nehemia, Hadar and Ziv, more and more names I know now when I did not want to. Yaakov and Netanel-a father and son I wish I did not know. Shalom and Danny, Malachi and Alexander, Nahmia and Aaron. How many more names can I write that I wish I did not know. Naama and Eitam. Two more. And now Eliav. Another name I wish I did not know. But I do know them. We all know them. We hear them on the news and we cannot forget them. These names are burned into our hearts. Their faces are ones we recognize. We wish we didn’t. Not for this reason. But we do. So now we know them. We know what kind of special people were taken from us. We know that we cry tears and more tears at the suffering of our people. And we learn from you, the owners of these names because we have to. Because now that we know your names we must learn all we can about you. We must know how you laughed, or of your thoughtful acts to others.We must know that you were a great teacher or parent or child. We must hear the stories of your lives.We must imprint your shining smiles in our minds forever. We must remember that you died a hero in the sanctification of G-d’s name. Like so many before you. And now, now that we know your names we must never forget them. We must say them with reverence and respect and with love. For they are precious.
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