“Yehonatan, my beloved son, we were merited to be your parents. You were such a gentle, emotional and believing person, without an ounce of rough attitude or cynicism,” echoed the father, Hagai Lober, of Staff Sgt. (res.) Elisha Yehonatan Lober, who lost his life fighting to defend Israel in the battles in southern Gaza.
“Before Simchat Torah we all went through a difficult time. We felt that our beloved nation was falling apart. The damned enemies came and reminded us that we are one nation and forced us to speak to each other and fight side by side. […] We request of the media and of every one of our nation please, one day of unity to uplift his soul, please don’t write of broadcast anything divisive, please, speak good [of others], find the good of the decision makers and of our amazing people who Yehonatan was proud to fight for.”
That such words were stated by grieving parents in the circumstances of losing their son indeed exemplifies a transcendence of the instinctive human capacity. They thus share a similar characteristic to sacred words, as if they emanate from the same field beyond the human egoistic forces, where we all unite as a single desire.
The bereaved parents’ focus on the benefit of society while feeling the anguish of losing their son showcases their greatness. In states where many people would naturally wish to have time for themselves, and in situations where it is possible to seek blame and redemption for what happened to their son, they instead come out with no less than a spiritual message: a calling for the unity of the people.
In order not to disregard the parents’ pleas, we should embrace their sentiments and try to internalize their deep emotions. By doing so, we can shatter the walls of division that stand between us, experience a significant transformation, live in unity, love, a readiness to forgive one another, and a mutual yearning to come out of ourselves for the greater good of humanity.