To our beloved son Eran

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To our beloved son Eran

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

I so much wanted to see you smile and frolic in the open spaces of the village we built. I dreamt of teaching you to ride a horse, running with you through the yellow-green expanses of the Negev, riding together on a jeep, seeing you enjoy the burgers Savta Margalit prepared for you, swimming together in the pool, hugging you, kissing you and seeing your blue eyes light up with a small smile of pleasure.
I must have asked for too much. You who never in your life complained, who never called me Abba – your silent shout burned within me like a burning torch. I wanted to create for you a beautiful world, challenging yet surrounded and protected with the warmth of true love.
We all know, Eran, that you were the strength that built ALEH Negev. I was just your emissary, my beloved son.
When you were born we called you Eran, after my brother Eran who never returned from that war. After my brother Eran, who lay bleeding on the battlefield for a week before he was rescued. And I swore that I would never ever leave you, my beloved son, to bleed alone on the battlefield.
We wanted you to be brave and smart, sensitive, amusing and successful, like my brother Eran who never returned from the war. We had dreams and expectations that were shattered.
You had other plans. From that terrible war that took my brother Eran, you brought us to another war, a difficult and cruel battle that we had never before experienced. You led us down paths that we had never trod. You taught us the most powerful lesson of our lives. A lesson in which we were like grasshoppers. And in this lesson you placed in front of us a challenge that seemed to reach the sky. We came to this lesson with the measure we were used to – the ruler of achievement. You established a new measure – the ruler of sensitivity.
My beloved son Eran – you were the greatest professor of my life. You were the teacher and educator who taught me, daily, a new lesson that no other person besides you could have taught. You placed in front of me the greatest challenge of my life. You urged me to change the world’s standards. To raise the banner of sensitivity and love on behalf of the weakest and most vulnerable members of our society, on behalf of children like you whose voices will never be heard. I wanted to be the best student in your classroom. To receive from you at the end of each lesson just a small smile of pleasure. That smile was the compass that guided me ever further.
And now you have left us. You were so young, only 23 years old.  And I must continue to navigate my life according to your unwritten will, through a stormy ocean of pain and tears, holding on tightly to the magnificent compass you built during the 23 years of your life. That compass is what guided us to fulfill the dream you sought to create on behalf of disabled children and adults, to forge a new path within a society of achievement, a society that places so much value on the banner of personal success and forgets sometimes that there are so many people like you who cannot join in this race. The elderly and the sick, the disabled and the handicapped, who in their mute silence wave your banner – the banner of human sensitivity.
And you wanted to teach us to look the painful truth in the eye, without shame, without guilty feelings, without hypocrisy and without phoniness. You wanted to teach us that loving without commitment to uncompromised giving is not love. You wanted to teach us that the lofty ideal of “Love your friend as you love yourself” is a hollow phrase if we do not translate it into back-breaking, exhausting and challenging action on behalf of children and people like you.
With your silent shout you asked me each day: “Abba, do you remember? Within your daily pursuit after new achievements, do you remember that your value as a human being is not measured only by material realizations that glorify the ego, but also by the measure of sensitivity that you demonstrate toward those who have no ego at all?”
You placed in front of us a very lofty challenge, my dear son. A challenge that most of the time we found very difficult to cope with. You established the challenge of human and social sensitivity on behalf of the silent voices of people like you.
Your will and bequest are clear to me, my beloved son. To always remember that the chain of humanity is measured by its weakest link, and that this link can be the source of our greatest strength if we continue to navigate our way with the magnificent compass you entrusted in our hands. You made me promise to be strong for you. Today I understand that you meant that I be strong in fulfilling your bequest. Today I know that I will have to be twice as strong to continue the journey.
May you rest in peace, my beloved son,
A pure angel,
A special spirit.
I will never stop longing for one more hug,
For one more look from your beautiful eyes,
For one more smile.
I miss you so much, my beloved son.
With all my love forever,
Your Abba,
Doron Almog


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