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Ray of Hope

Ray of Hope

A deadly attack left Karnei Shomron residents stunned, but the pain is accompanied by a ray of hope.

by

As the Shabbat came to a close we recited the words in the Havdalah from the story of Purim, a prayer repeated optimistically by Jews for generations. "For the Jews there was light, gladness, joy and honor, so may it be for us." With Purim right around the corner, I hoped that this year those words would finally come to fruition. My hope was shattered as the radio was turned on. An explosion is reported in Karnei Shomron, the place where I grew up and where my family lives. There are injured and dead. I could not believe my ears. Not again, not so close to home. We have become accustomed to shooting incidents, as insane as that is, but an attack within our peaceful neighborhood was just unthinkable.

My brother realizes that he standing near body parts.

The round of phone calls begins. My brothers, my cousins, aunts and uncles, everybody is accounted for. Now comes the second round, friends and neighbors. There are rumors running rampant, such chaos that nobody knows for sure. My brothers, cousins and uncle rush to the mall to offer their help. The sight they see is unimaginable. My uncle, who is a doctor and trained to deal with situations like this, cannot believe his eyes. He has never seen anything so gruesome. As my brother is describing the scene to me over his cell phone, he realizes that he is standing near body parts. We pray that they belong to the terrorist and nobody else.

Nechemia Amar

Eventually the picture becomes clear. Chani is injured, Hillel is in serious condition, Nechemia Amar is murdered, and Keren Shatsky, from across the street, is killed. How could that be? We have buried our fair share of victims already, why another? Why the Shatzky's? The nicest of people, why them? The anguish and pain, anger and sorrow that had been bottled up came bursting out. Where are our leaders? How can Jewish children be butchered in the one place that was supposed to symbolize safety for Jews?

Keren Shatsky

The funeral is set for Monday so that Keren's grandparents can fly in from the US. How perverse is nature when a grandparent buries their own grandchild? The families of Karnei Shomron are heartbroken. No one can move on with their daily lives; all we can do is wait with tears in our eyes. While we wait, the Shatskys bake. In their moment of grief they stand in the kitchen baking cookies for the wounded. They then drive down to the hospital to personally deliver them to Keren's friends -- acts of kindness and love that are almost incomprehensible, that personifies the Shatzkys.

To see such young children sobbing over the loss of their friend is devastating.

On Monday afternoon we gather by the shul and from there we proceed to the cemetery. Thousands of people, many carrying flags of Israel, follow the body of Keren, who was just 15 years old. As the procession begins, so does the wailing of Keren's young friends. To see such young children sobbing over the loss of their peer is devastating. As the body is carried past me, I am stunned once again. One by one, her father and three sisters eulogize Keren. As the tears flow from the eyes of everyone present, the message repeated over and over is not one of anger or hatred, but rather of love and belief. Love for the Jewish people, and the belief that the redemption will come from Heaven and not from so-called leaders.

Keren was a loving, happy soul, without enemy or sin, hunted down just because she was a Jew living in her homeland. The message relayed by her family, though, was one of hope. The hope that Keren, which means "ray" in Hebrew, up in Heaven, will be an advocate for the people of Israel who need her help so desperately. The hope that Keren will help bring happier times on her land. The hope that Keren will shed light, gladness, joy and honor on all of us.

Published: February 23, 2002


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Visitor Comments: 7

(7) Helen Poliquin, January 31, 2003 12:00 AM

I Love you Keren

I'm Keren's cousin from the US and i miss her so much...Its great to see Ashley's name on here too because i know that means people are thinking of Keren. She was really incredible and i will miss her forever!
Lots of Love
Helen

(6) Ashley Poliquin, April 18, 2002 12:00 AM

I LOVE YOU KEREN

hey, I'm sorry I couldnt find a better way to write to you in Israel. Thats awful, and i dont understand what kind of sick person could do such an awful thing to someone to sweet and so meaningful in my life... Ill continue to love Keren, even thought I may never see her again... :(
With always much love, your neice...
-Ashley
P.S.
see you later

(5) Shira Levin, March 3, 2002 12:00 AM

A ray of hope in a shattered world

Right now there are tears in my eyes. It is true redemption and peace can not come from man. Only from HaShem can come redemption and peace. When the true Messiah comes then will come peace.

(4) Avidor Goldberg, February 27, 2002 12:00 AM

You have captured my feelings, Ari ...

I really have no words for this article,
Its the first time that I got so inspired by an article online. I hope that people will realise and show their atmost support and symphathy to the people living in Yesha. My love and full support for our brethen there,
and a speedy recovery to the injured.

Love Avidor

(3) sharon weingarten, February 25, 2002 12:00 AM

Ari, powerful article with a positive message. Well written. Yashar Koach.
Hope you won't have to write about tragedies in the future.

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