I would have liked to have known the Dee family.
I can imagine meeting them on a plane, in a restaurant, at schul.
A beautiful, family.
I would have told them about the “Bloom’s Restaurant” pin I have kept since I first visited London, age 19; my love of the British Museum (“I am on the side of returning the Elgin Marbles to Greece. What do you think?” I would have asked). I would have related my visit to a London synagogue in 2009 and being surprised at security, including armed guards and a metal detector. We didn’t have that in the United States at the time.
I would have confided my daughters’ love for Israel and that when one of them had to return to the U.S. after her Gap Year, she sat down on the floor of the airport and cried. It was the first time I had ever seen her cry. She didn’t even cry when she was born. Mothers remember these things. Mrs. Dee probably did, too.
I would have learned that the Dees lived in Efrat, a town 7.5 miles south of Jerusalem.
“Efrat!” I would have said. “I know Rabbi Shlomo Riskin, the founder of Efrat!!” And we would have been off, sharing names of friends and acquaintances.
That is what you do in Israel.
Mrs. Dee and her daughters, 20 and 15 died as a result of a terrorist attack as they were traveling to Tiberias, one of the four holy cities of Israel.
Home of generations of leaders of Jewish thought.
The last time my daughters and I visited Tiberias, they were 13 and nine.
They posed in the splendid sun.
The younger one wore a long-sleeved white shirt with the graphic of a blue and white globe topped by small nestling spherical vegetables and the words “Peas on earth” written beneath it.
It’s hard, today, living in the diaspora and seeing the atrocities being committed against Israelis and those the terrorists think are Israelis (a 35 year Italian lawyer who came to Israel for Easter Week was mowed down on one of Tel Aviv’s most iconic beachside streets) to think of peace.
“Peas on earth”
We are still waiting.
It’s too late for the Dee family.