Day 41 Of The War: The Funeral I Couldn’t Attend

Our heart is with the hostages in Gaza, 
Bring Them Home (image courtesy of author)
Our heart is with the hostages in Gaza, Bring Them Home (image courtesy of author)

The morning following the tragic news of Vivian Silver’s murder, a close friend I met through Women Wage Peace came to the restaurant. She and her partner are part of the volunteer drivers for our vegan restaurant and that day, they were collecting meal orders for the Western Galilee. We were very sad, and we hugged each other. Suddenly, she took off her dog tag, inscribed with ‘Our heart is hostage in Gaza, Bring Them Home,’ and gave it to me. It was a deeply meaningful gesture at that moment.

Vivian’s funeral took place today in Kibbutz Gezer, where she lived before moving to Be’eri, and based on what I’ve read and heard, it was a very touching event. Since October 7th, many of her friends, including myself, have been thinking about her and praying for her safe return. There were rumors that she had been seen taken to Gaza by Hamas, so we held onto hope that she was alive, but sadly she was murdered at her home in Beeri.

I chose not to attend the funeral today because there was no one who could take my place at the restaurant, making sure that over 500 meals would get to their destination this morning, and I had made a commitment to do that. Knowing Vivian, I believe she would have said that there was nothing more I could do for her.

After seeing photos from the funeral and reading excerpts from the speeches, I felt a sense of regret for missing the event. It would have been comforting to see and hear everyone who loved her and admired her work. Still I don’t regret my decision not to go, for me, it was the right choice.

Today, on November 16th, I was supposed to fly to visit my daughter in the US for Thanksgiving. When we originally planned this, we had no idea something like this would or could ever happen. This trip didn’t materialize of course, and I stayed in Israel. My Israeli friends who are away right now, and even Jewish friends and family members, tell that being abroad at this time is difficult. They feel restless, alienated, and misunderstood. At least in Israel, we can console each other.

The Yiddish proverb “man plans and God laughs” took a very tragic turn on October 7th. I genuinely hope that if there is a God, he is too ashamed to laugh.

Bring the hostages home now.

About the Author
I hold a PhD in English Literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, specializing in writing about issues related to women, literature, culture, and society. Having lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994), I bring a diverse perspective to my work. As a widow, in March 2016, I initiated a support and growth-oriented Facebook group for widows named "Widows Move On." The group has now grown to over 2000 members, providing a valuable space for mutual support and understanding.
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