Hear my pain

Varda’s job brought her in contact with many grieving families all over the State Of Israel.

For many years she was the officer in charge of all injured & lost soldiers. One of her tasks was to bring the news to families that no-one ever wants to hear. That fateful knock on the door with the news “your son was lost in action”. From the first contact onwards Varda was the families’ steadfast rock. She stood by then, helped every way possible and with her practical go getter attitude she never took no for an answer. She was the person between grief and the army who managed to get the family back on their feet and rebuild their lives.

Today there is a new cemetery in Kfar Azar.

Late at night the Rabbis performed an ancient rite that had not been done for many years. They circled the hole in the ground that was to be Daniel’s final resting place.

The family wanted to bury Daniel in Kfar Azar, a peaceful settlement on the outskirts of Ramat Gan where he grew up. There was just one problem, Kfar Azar did not have a cemetery. Just as Varda knew how to move heaven and earth she stepped in and managed to achieve the impossible.

Sadness clouds my vision at the thought of the pain Daniel’s mother, father and three older brothers are feeling.

Daniel who had barely lived two score years had been in an unprotected Zelda, a 40 year old troop carrier, when a RPG rocket blasted into them. He and his six comrades did not have a chance.

Daniel was the king of the “Namer” the Tiger Tank as it is called . Due to fate they were not assigned to their usual Namer which has technology that protects against an RPG missile. Chances are that they may have survived.

Daniel and his team were one of the first casualties of operation Protective Edge.

As he was finally laid to rest his mother played a recording of their last conversation, where he explained where to find the note he left on his cell phone in the event of ……

“If you are reading this, then it means my career is over”, Daniel wrote, “Please know that I have always loved being part of this family & thank you for all your support.”

“Tell my soldiers I love them.”

When Varda heard of this tragedy, she did the only thing she knew how. She got in her car & went to the hospital to visit the only surviving officer , who was badly injured .

As Varda stood at the side of Daniel’s grave and wept at the loss of her son. She laments that somehow she knew that this would happen to her. It is as if all these past years were spent training for this bleak moment. When the officers clad in green stood at Varda’s door, she opened it to let them in before they could knock. She somehow had a mother’s premonition.

War brings raw pain to both sides of the equation.

The flow of grieving parents, at the Pomerantz’s ,house does not cease at the mourning, “shiva” in Kfar Azar.

Parent after parent of all those soldiers who had died fighting for our tiny country, came to pay their respects and tried to somehow give back to Varda some of the love she had shown them in their hard years of grief.

Hear my pain o Israel the Lord is G-d, the Lord is One.

In this war there are no happy endings.




About the Author
Ilan Hirschowitz was born in South Africa and now lives in the Sharon area, where he works as a Software Engineer for a large international software company.
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