The loss of three good souls
by Craig Emanuel
Today we mourn the loss of life of three young boys who were on their way home from school, doing nothing more than doing the same thing they had done every day. The pictures of these three boys, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frankel and Eyal Yifrach, show them with smiles on their faces and are essentially no different than many of our own children, except that in this case, they happen to be living in a Jewish settlement in the West Bank of Israel and were kidnapped by terrorists. Yesterday their dead bodies were found after a nationwide search for two weeks, and today around the world we mourn.
These boys had done nothing wrong. They were just teenagers. They were victims of terrorism whose lives were robbed from them and their families. Like our own children, they had the same likes as most young kids. In an article on the CNN website, it described that “one of the boys liked to play basketball and was a talented musician who played a ‘mean’ guitar. One of them liked to bake cakes for his five younger sisters and take jars of cookies to share with the children in his class.”
Today, the three children whose lives have been taken, happen to be Jewish children living in Israel. Tomorrow the loss of life may be two young children in Egypt. Or perhaps it will be a young child in a market in Tijuana. Or a young boy standing in Trafalgar Square.
At the end of the day, the loss of a life is the loss of a soul. When that loss happens to be a young child or children, regardless of where they live or what their family’s religious beliefs are, they are almost always the victims and never the perpetrators, and so isn’t their loss the same to the family and friends of the victims whose bodies were found yesterday?
When will this senseless killing stop? What does it achieve? It certainly does not bring us any closer to finding peace.
If anything, the actions make people cry out for the need for retaliation and retribution.
In a week’s time, I will still board the plane on my scheduled trip to visit Israel. I will not let the actions of terrorists dictate my life anymore than I would expect a person in another country to do any differently. We seem to take one step forward in the movement towards peace and then somehow we find ourselves taking two steps backwards. It’s time we figure out a way to solve some of these issues.
Today the victims are not related to me or perhaps to any one reading this blog. But tomorrow, the chances are increased that one of us will be more closely related to the loss of a good soul that should have had the chance to enjoy a full life.
Today we all mourn. Let’s pray that tomorrow is not the same as today.
Above: Naftali Fraenkel, 16, who also holds U.S. citizenship, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19. Photo by Reuters/HandoutTags: Craig Emanuel, Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, Israel, Naftali Frankel, Senseless murder, Terrorism