Tuesday, April 16, 2002

Israel Marks 54th Day of Remembrance for 21,182 servicemen, police and civilians killed in war and murdered by terrorists from 1948 until 2002.

How many of you did I know? Which of you did I sit next to on Eged buses from Ra'anana to Rosh HaNikra, from Grofit to Gonen?

Ami Goren, of Geva, my childhood friend, died in 1967; Benny Katzin, best man at my wedding, perished in 1973. Tsvika Malkieli, my classmate--1967. Yuyu Nir of Geva - I must stop, lest I remove the cover from the endless fountain of tears that threatens to burst forth on the slightest allusion, a fragment of a song--"HaReut"; "Yerushalayim Shel Zahav"; "Mi SheHalakh".

And now the Internet has made you all more intimately part of me--Shalhevet Pass; Binyamin and Talia Kahane; ...I have your faces on my screensaver. I pray for the comfort of all the bereaved. I don't think about 21,182 deaths; I focus on one at a time, and on those who miss them.

G-d of Israel, help me to live in such a way that the meaning of these deaths, so dear to You (Psalm 116:15), will not be diminished.

Bless Your people, O Lord!