The AftermathJune 14, 1996
It has been a very difficult week. Here, the Hebron region, we tend to lose
people in twos. The Lapids, Raphael Yairi and Margolit Shochat, Nachum Hoss and
Yehuda Partush, and now the Ungers – Yaron and Efrat – HY”D.
Yaron and Efrat were not, ironically, the first Hebron Ungers to be murdered.
During the 1929 massacre Shlomo and Nechama Unger were killed. They left two
small children, a boy and a girl. Those two children are still alive. One of
their grandchildren learns in Yeshivat Shavei Hebron, here in the City of the
Yesterday, when Prime Minister Elect Benyamin Netanyahu made a condolence call
to the parents of Efrat – the Dasbergs, in Gush Etzion, the bereaved family had
two requests: not to withdraw from Hebron and to build two new Jewish
neighborhoods in Kiryat Arba-Hebron, named after the couple.
Netanyahu and his wife Sara later said that they intended to encourage Efrat’s
family, but they found themselves strengthened from the visit.
What happens after a horror such as this? My son’s class, together will all
the Yeshiva junior high school found themselves in a quandary. Yaron was in
charge of the end-of-year graduation celebrations. Should there be a party or
not? (You might recall that all Purim celebrations were cancelled this year
following the bus blasts in Jerusalem.) The children sat together with the
faculty and decided to have a celebration, but to change some of the content.
When Elazar brought home the invitation this afternoon, the first event listed
was a memorial to the slain teacher and his wife.
My younger son, finishing fourth grade, is having an end-of-year party on
Sunday night. Of course, I will attend. But I will miss the public memorial
taking place at the same time at the Kiryat Arba Sports Center.
In short, such tragic murders have a way of effecting all people’s lives. It
is very sad.
How do we keep going? We do just that – life goes on. As with the junior
high school decision, the celebration will take place. It will be subdued,
there is no doubt, but the most fitting way to honor the memory of Yaron and
Efrat is only to keep going. The terrorist’s goal is to disrupt life, and
eventually destroy it – to make life so difficult that we get up and leave.
But that, we will not do, under any circumstances. That is what the killers
So even though this Shabbat isn’t like last week, the joy over the election
results has been replaced by grief, it is still Shabbat. The loss of two
precious people hurts, hurts very much – but we will not allow their deaths to
have been in vain. They lived their beliefs to the fullest, and we too will
continue. In spite of everything.