World news outlets have been broadcasting images side by side of Jews and Arabs mourning, as if they were the same thing. They could not be more wrong. When Arabs gather in numbers to “mourn,” they can be seen running in the streets of Israel shouting with their fists raised, the dead used as a rallying point for anger, violence and media coverage. The values of our two peoples are brought into even starker contrast as Hamas celebrates death, while we mourn the loss of life. It is very telling how depraved their society is as they “mourn their dead” the exact same way as they celebrate murder.

Funeral of Eyal Gilad and Naftali

Funeral of Eyal Gilad and Naftali

While this is true it does not do to dwell on the depravity of others, but focus on how we should behave, and grow. These past two weeks עם ישרואל (the Nation of Israel) has come together in an unprecedented fashion to support one another. One of the most profound experiences of my life was to stand shoulder to shoulder with tens of thousands of my fellow Jews from all over world, gathered beneath the glaring afternoon sun to mourn the senseless loss of our holy brethren.

The crowd was laden with sorrow and yet I have never in my life experienced such a unanimous outpouring of unconditional love.You could feel the intensity of it in the air as over 50 thousand Jewish souls vibrated on the same frequency, together kindling an immortal light.On that day this force of love was felt by Jews in every corner of the earth and shook the very foundations of heaven.

As we waited for the funeral to begin the crowd shifted between deafening silence, and solemn song, invoking ancient words of sorrow and of hope.

It is moments like this that fortify me with strength and hope, that during the darkest of times we can come together, a nation “divided” by petty politics, as one family to mourn our loss and look together towards building a better future. I will remember that sad day for the rest of my life. Baseless hatred tore us apart two thousand years ago, and unbridled love is bringing us back together once more.

ברוך דיין האמת
יעקב נפתלי בן רחל דבורה, גילעד מיכאל בן בת גלים, אייל בן איריס תשורה

זכר קדוש לברכה

Blessed is the true Judge:
Eyal Gilad and Naftali

May their memory a blessing.