Tuesday, January 31, 2006

In Memory by Shifra Shomron

In Memory

By Shifra Shomron
18 years old
2 Shvat 5766/ 31.1.06
Nitzan Caravilla site

The names "Tiferet, Asaf, Yisrael HY"D" jump boldly out of a large sign fastened to a prefab shul here in the Nitzan Caravilla site. The thick white letters stare down at me from the depths of their engravement.
I didn't even have to think twice. After all, Tiferet Tretner, Asaf Tzafira and Yisrael Lutati are not only engraved in a cold metal sign high up on a prefab shul in temporary Nitzan; they are also engraved deeply in our beating hearts. How can I forget those three vibrant youths severed from our midst so cruelly? Tiferet was killed by a mortar that smashed through the roof of the house; its sharp shrapnel pieces piercing her soft flesh. It was on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holy day when G-d puts the seal on our verdicts, and our government had once again committed the unforgivable sin of standing idly by their brothers' blood. Asaf was shot to death by the Arab workers near the hothouses of Rafiah Yam. In the midst of all the vegetation, a budding Jewish sapling was hewn down. Yisrael was a soldier, "killed in the line of duty". What a blank description that is of a handsome young man shot while protecting a Jewish community from enemy infiltration!
We, the Gush Katif family, honored our fallen – our heroes! Our youth built a wooden shul in their names. And they planted beautiful flowers around it. And they made a path that led from Neve Dekalim to the 'Tiferet Yisrael' shul.
And these wonderful Gush Katif youths found themselves, for the first time in their young lives, confronting Jewish soldiers. Staying up all night – so that the army wouldn't destroy this 'illegal outpost'. It was a rude awakening for the Gush Katif youth who had spent the winter baking cakes and serving soup to the soldiers. Yes, a rude awakening. And also a taste of what they would have to digest in the summer.
Did we digest it? It was forced down our throats.
And once again a shul carries the names of Tiferet, Asaf and Yisrael.

Tiferet means glory.
Asaf means gathered.
Yisrael means the Jewish nation.

May Hashem return the glory that has been gathered from the Jewish nation.
And may their blood be avenged.

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