As we stand silent remembering the fallen soldiers and victims of terror my thoughts turn to an ocean of tears of too many people I have come to know over our 30 years here on Itamar. They mourn the ones taken from them prematurely, suddenly, savagely as they received the death blow news of a son, a husband, a father, a mother, a baby- murdered. I think about Matan Zagron, our first officer, who wears a lifesaving medal on his eternal soul as he jumped on a suicide bomber in Ariel, saving a busload of passengers who he didn’t even know. Memorial Day feels like Yom Kippur as all the blue and white flags flapping in the wind that always blows no matter what on Memorial Day, the blue seems to disappear and I feel only white, like on Yom Kippur and think about Hillel Lieberman in his white tallit, running to Kever Yosef with maybe enthusiasm or dread- it is hard to know, as it was burnt to the ground. He was running too far, too fast- they found first a sandal and then retrieved his bullet riddled body in a cave on the way to Shechem. Not too long after that happened, our Rabbi, HaRav Binyamin Herling zt”l, who followed a long tradition of torah masters and brought over in his extremely modest and unique way mystical teachings into practical advice for the Land of Israel “These mountains must be settled!” He sang Chasidic songs as he bled to death trying to calm and sweeten judgement for the group touring Mount Eval on that day he was taken from us. As he was shot down by human beasts.
Eliyahu Pinchas Asheri was searching for a ride on route 60 when he was kidnapped and murdered. A young beautiful teenager with sparkling blue eyes and a perfect spirit, he went up in a Chariot of fire. Gilad Zar, our next door neighbor HYD was one of the world’s sane great people. He was everything from security chief to Ambulance driver and paramedic, volunteering in every realm of public life on the new pioneering frontier, a husband and father to eight children. He knew every rock of the terrain, every wind that would blow and maybe he knew that he had to cram so much in in his short life, Hashem yikome damo!
Over the bed of Yoav Fogel, whose parents and 2 other siblings, a three month baby sister included-HYD, hung a poster of a special prayer-
“May it be Your will, Hashem and G-d of our forefathers
That I merit to love everyone of my people as myself
To graciously perform the positive commandment of loving your neighbor as yourself
That you place in the hearts of my friends, love for me and that I am accepted and desired by all
That I should be loving, caring and that I should be merciful in the eyes of all who see me.
As a face is reflected in water, so should the heart of man be to each other
And for the sake of Heaven, to observe Your will, Amen.”