Michelle Rojas-Tal

A call for unity in the wake of tragedy

To say the past few months have found Israel divided is putting it lightly.

Pesach was a welcome respite after an incredibly tense period.

Families across Israel packed their cars for Shabbat and Hol HaMoed vacations across the country, as the rest of the global Jewish community continued to observe the first days of the holiday.

At 10:52 am local time, Rabbi Leo Dee missed a call from his daughter.

He and 3 of his children traveled in one of the family vehicles as his wife and two daughters, Maia and Rina, made their way to their family vacation up north with their Mother in a separate car.

When Rabbi Dee attempted to return that call, there was no answer.

The same held true for his wife.

And other daughter.

News of a terror attack on the Jordan Valley road hit quickly.

And soon enough, Leo Dee would learn that his two daughters and wife were the victims.


There is an expression in Hebrew.

“Melkai HaEretz”

It is an expression that is akin to royalty.

Royalty not based on status or wealth but rather, on values.

Those labeled with the merit of being referred to this way are truly the best of Israel.

Those who embody the truest of Jewish values in their characters.

The type of people we aspire to be.

And we pray for our children to be.




Those who live a life of tremendous merit and bring joy and inspiration to all those around them.


The Dee family are “Melkai Haaretz”

And the tragic loss of Maia, Rina and Lucy have led to an entire nation in mourning.

Within hours of Rabbi Dee’s modest request of raising the Israeli flag in a show of unity and love for his family, our social media platforms were flooded with images and hashtags in solidarity with the Dee family.

It was what little we could all do in such a moment of anguish.

And yet this small act by each of us as the individual, truly represents the greatness of the collective.

In the tragedy of the loss of these 3 incredible women, we have found ourselves united in a way that all but seemed lost.

Maia, Rina and Lucy embodied all that we treasure about Israel.

And being a part of the Jewish nation.

As we fly our flags in their memory, let us not forget what they stood for in their lives.

And the power of our unity as a people.

May their memories bless and inspire.

Am Israel Chai.

About the Author
Michelle Rojas-Tal is a global speaker, trailblazer and advocate on Zionism, Jewish identity, and Israel engagement. Amongst her current projects, Michelle serves as the Zionist Scholar-in-Residence at Hadassah, The Women’s Zionist Organization of America.