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Tragedy Exacerbated by Horror

This week witnessed a challenging war further intensified by the devastating loss of twenty-four Israeli soldiers in a single day. Twenty-one of them perished in a tragic moment when the building they were in collapsed.


Every innocent death in the ongoing conflict is heart-wrenching, but the loss of so many soldiers, including reserve soldiers, in a single day profoundly affects us. These were men torn away from their families, work, and daily lives, committed to rescuing hostages and bringing Hamas to justice.


To grasp the significance of the loss, consider the case of Elkana Vizel, a 35-year-old rabbi and father of four from Bnei Dekalim. He left behind a letter to his family, providing insight into his beliefs and mission during his service in the war.


"If you are reading these words, something must have happened to me. If I was kidnapped, I demand that no deal be made for the release of any terrorist to release me. Our overwhelming victory is more important than anything, so please continue to work with all your might so that the victory is as overwhelming as possible.


Maybe I fell in battle. When a soldier falls in battle, it is sad, but I ask you to be happy. Don't be sad when you part with me. Touch hearts, hold each other's hands, and strengthen each other. We have so much to be proud and happy about.


We are writing the most significant moments in the history of our nation and the entire world. So please, be happy, be optimistic, and keep choosing life all the time. Spread love, light, and optimism. Look at your loved ones in the whites of their eyes and remind them that everything we go through in this life is worth it and that we have something to live for. Don't stop the power of life for a moment. I was already wounded in Operation Tzuk Eitan, but I do not regret that I returned to fight. This is the best decision I ever made."


This is just one instance of loss in a war that has now surpassed 100 days. Each death leaves a profound void in our hearts.


We pray for a swift end to hostilities, the safe return of all hostages, and, until then, the safety of everyone involved in the war.


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