We Will Forget

Posted on July 1, 2014

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Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali,

Your bodies were discovered yesterday in a field.  Today you are being buried.  Tomorrow we will begin to forget you.  I’m sorry about that.  Please don’t take it personally.  Most of us didn’t know you.  Even so, we are tremendously impacted by the violence that cut your precious lives short.  Even when we forget your names, a piece of you, or at least your story, will live on in each of us.

We will forget you because you are not unique. You are only the latest victims.  Do we remember the names of the family members blown up at the seder several years ago? What about the doctor and his daughter killed on the eve of her wedding while they sat together in Jerusalem? Or those killed in Argentina? Or assaulted in France? What about the names of each of the six million…or at least the names of the one million children?  It isn’t possible to remember the names of all of the victims who were killed simply because they were Jews. Or in your case, Jewish Israelis.

We need to remember that you were killed not because of who you were, but because of what you represented. You were hope.  You were the future.  You were Jews. You were Israelis.  You were precious to us but merely symbolic to your murderers and their supporters.

Eyal, Gilad, and Naftali–we love you like sons.  You are our family members. But any day now, you will be joined by other sons and daughters of the Jewish people. We will remember their names. Briefly. Then we will begin to forget them too.

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