Individual Routines, Collective Longing: A Song to Bring Back Our Boys

It is a sheer privilege to be able to live in the Land of Israel. It’s just not simple. I find myself explaining to my 1st grader, and even my 3-year-old, about why anyone would kidnap three teenage boys awaiting a ride to get home one night. The kidnappers took them, and we don’t know where they are, or how they are. And it’s been over two weeks now.

Every day is encumbered with this ever-present parents’ nightmare of longing for a missing child. Times three. Our routines remain the same, but not. We are walking dualities – struggling to live our regular good lives with our bellies always aching with missing our boys. We live a parallel life of waking up, checking the smartphone, getting kids off to school, opening the laptop, meeting with clients, and making dinner, all the while thinking, bring back our boys, bring back our boys. It’s also the end of the school year with the various ceremonies, recitals, and notes sent home, all with a common denominator: Praying for our boys to God-willing come back, safe and sound, home. Home to their parents and siblings and friends and neighborhoods and to all of the People of Israel.

We are unified. We are now so used to praying for these three boys that everyone knows their full names, like family. Adults and children alike, constantly saying Tehilim (Psalms) to bring back our boys: Yaakov Naftali Ben Rachel, Gilad Michael ben Bat-Galim, Eyal Ben Iris Tshurah.

The IDF are incredibly hard at work to find our boys, and the general public feels at a loss. At least, at least – we can keep unified.

“וְיֵשׁ תִּקְוָה לְאַחֲרִיתֵךְ נְאֻם יְהוָה וְשָׁבוּ בָנִים לִגְבוּלָם.”

And there is hope in the end, says the Lord, that thy children will return to their borders. –Jeremiah 31:17

Return To Us, Dear Boys

I lift mine eyes unto the hills
Maybe from there, my help cometh.

Chorus –

Return, dear boys, come back home to us.
To a mother’s caring embrace
Return, dear boys, come back home to us.
[We hold one request in our heart.]
All our people as one in prayer…for your shalom.

All of a sudden, everything stopped
There’s no turning back to what it used to be like
Today everything’s different
Our world – spinning.

I do not have words
But I have faith
hat everything’s being done in order that
I can soon see your face.
My child.

Chorus – Return, dear boys …

Father of Mercy
You can change it all in an instant.
In one moment
Turn it all around.

Shema! I shouted.
I took a solemn oath
I’d do anything
To see your face
And the face of my child.

Chorus – Return, dear boys …
I lift mine eyes unto the hills
Maybe from there, my help cometh.

Perhaps it’s just part of the plan
That only tomorrow I will understand
I lift my eyes unto the hills
Maybe from there, my help cometh.

I don’t sleep nights, I toss and turn.

So, why me? Why me? …

Chorus – Return, dear boys …

All of a sudden, everything stopped.

Write up: Chaya Kasse Valier

About the Author
Ricka Van Leeuwen (Razel) owns and manages Uricka Homes Realty in Nachlaot, Jerusalem. As a center city representative to the Jerusalem municipality, Ricka is involved in enhancing community life on a political level as well. Born and raised in Nachlaot to American parents who made aliyah in the 70's, Ricka is a wife and mother of eight, and a musician like her Razel siblings, currently releasing a new song monthly.