Our boys are home. Not the home we prayed for. Nor the home that prayed for them. They have been returned to the ultimate Home with the ultimate Parent of parents and are safe in His loving embrace. They died al Kiddush Hashem – simply and only for being Jewish. No doubt proudly with the Shema on their lips. There is no greater level of holiness that can be achieved than that. They will find their resting place next to the Kisei HaKavod and offer up our tears to implore the Almighty to end our suffering as quickly as He ended theirs. Only peacefully, without further pain. And in their absence, it is we who are left to find a light amid this cruel, enduring darkness. We who so desperately need to be comforted and embraced. But who can console us, and how?!

We need to reach out and show Gilad, Naftali, and Eyal that their murders were not in vain. We must to commit to positive actions and good deeds in their names and keep their holy souls aflame. Those flames – those lights – will guide us through this black night and show us how to go on. We will fortify ourselves and our nation. We will honor and sanctify their names just like they honored and sanctified the name of G-d. But instead of praying for their return we will pray for ours. To bring us closer and let us reach out for that desperately needed Almighty embrace.