Tuesday, May 02, 2006

 

Memorial Eve, 5766, by Shifra Shomron

Memorial Eve, 5766

Shifra Shomron
19 years old
Nitzan Caravilla site
3 Iyar 5766 / 1.5.06

"How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Look, and hear me, O L-rd my G-d."
[Psalms 13: 3-4]

I stood on the grass and listened to the names. Name after name, and each one a painful stab in the heart. The announcer's voice trembles. The family on my left sniff loudly. The man on my right wearing an earring and a white satin skullcap wipes his face.
Now the announcer has reached the names of the Hatuel family: first the mother Tali, then the names of the four daughters. A family cruelly killed. And the list goes on.
We are about 200 ex Gush Katifnics standing on the grass lawn in the Nitzan Caravilla site, under the cloudy night sky. Men, women and children, religious and not religious, from different communities in the Gush. The spilled blood, the sorrow and the pain unite us.
He has finished reading the names, and his deep voice swells melodiously in El Maleh Rechamim. He finishes and leaves the stage.
A woman comes onto the stage and starts speaking: "…Representing the fallen of Neve Dekalim, Shirel Lutati." A young girl gets on the stage. She lights a torch. Her voice is low and sweet: "I, Shirel Lutati, the sister of Israel Lutati, light a torch…"
"Representing the fallen of Gan Or… representing the fallen of Gadid…the fallen of Nissanit…"
It was heartbreaking. Small children, little girls, young adults – all representing a friend or family member murdered by savage Arabs. Sweet voices, piping voices, childish voices, high, low, gentle, rough… Everyone around me is sniffing. I wipe a tear from my eyes.
The number of the fallen in Israel is more than twenty thousand. Twenty thousand! And I am sad, and angry, and grieved that Israel's leaders still unforgivably cling to the suicidal policy of restraint. They're clinging with bloody hands.
We sing the HaTikva. The voices are low, subdued. Our belief is stronger than our hope, because our voices soar loudly as we next sing Ani Ma'amin. Despite it all, we believe. We believe in redemption.

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