Dvir Sorek and Ben-Sorek — An Invisible Bond

The connection between us is only the similarity of our family name. Otherwise, we are not related.

Laugh at me, if you must, but when I learned of his murder I wept tears as if for a member of my own family. I had never met him nor his family. I heard his name only after his death.

A handsome young boy was arriving home from his seminary classes and as he left the bus, two Arab terrorists in a car tried to run him down. One drove and the other got out and put a knife into the body of a young Israeli boy for the only reason…that he was born a Jew.

Why should I weep, you may ask. It is not just that we bore the same name. It is because looking at his beautiful face in his photo that was posted online and in our Hebrew news media, reminded me of a poem that I had learned in my youth.

It was a poem written by one of our earliest Hebrew poets, a pagan of nature, who penned these words.

“Sachki Sachki al ha chalomot, zu ani ha cholem sach
Sachki ki ba adam aamin ki odeni maamin bach….”
Laugh at all my dreams, my dearest
Laugh, and I repeat anew
That I still believe in mankind
As I still believe in you

Shaul Tchernichovsky wrote these words. Together, he and Chayim Nachman Bialik, the first Poet Laureate in Jewish Palestine, were the literary giants of pre-state Israel in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Tchernichovsky was renowned as the poet of nature while Bialik was renowned as the poet of Jewish nature.

Somehow, with no real connection, Tchernichovsky’s poem comforts my aching heart when I think of and when I look at photos of someone I had never known. I unexplainingly sense an invisible bond between Dvir and us. A bond which was never seen but is suddenly and painfully felt.

Many… too many of our young men and women have been murdered in stabbings, bullets or car rammings by violent Arabs determined to kill a Jew where they could find one.

Dvir Sorek was a 19 year old student at the Ohr Torah seminary and was returning home from Jerusalem where he had gone to purchase books as a gift to his teacher at the end of the school year.

The tragic day was 8 August 2019. He was the son of Yoav Sorek, a well-known journalist and the grandson of Rabbi Binyamin Herling, a Holocaust survivor, who was likewise murdered in an Arab attack on Mt. Ebal in 1981 by Fatah terrorists and by the Palestine Authority Security Forces who opened fire on the group of four Jews who had come to pray.

Dvir was buried at the Ofra cemetery on the same day that his murdered body had been discovered. Thousands came from across the nation to attend his funeral and to honor his memory with their sincere condolences to his family.

It was mentioned that Dvir loved gardening and he had planted many flowers and other plants in his garden which he loved to tender. He viewed his green plants and blossoming flowers as a gift from God. And his religious spirit guided him to thank God each day for the beauty of His creations.

At the same time that thousands of mourners attended Dvir’s funeral, hundreds of Arab students at Bir Zeit University on the West Bank celebrated Dvir’s murder with fireworks and by distributing chocolates and other sweet candies to students and friends.That occasion was to dance for the killing of a Jew.

While Arabs praise death as a virtue leading to entrance into paradise, Jews praise life while living on earth.

The tragic and senseless murder of a 19 year old Jewish student is the visible symbol of Arab hatred for all Jews. He was not known to them. They and he had never met. But when they saw a young Jew holding books in his arms as he stepped off the bus, he became the target of their blatant hatred.

This week, the government finally approved the order to demolish the homes of the two Arab murderers of Dvir Sorek. For what purpose?

A home can be re-built. A life taken can never return.

On the 7th of the Hebrew month of Av, corresponding to the 8th day of August 2019, I will light a memorial candle in memory of Dvir Sorek whose young life was snuffed out… in memory of a young man who shared my name.

Tehi nishmato tzrura bi’tzrur ha chayim… may his soul be bound up in the bond of life. Amen.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.
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