One of the poems we often read before Mourner’s Kaddish is called “Yeish Kochavim.”
יש כוכבים שאורם מגיע ארצה
רק כאשר הם עצמם אבדו ואינם
יש אנשים שזיו זכרם מאיר
כאשר הם עצמם אינם עוד בתוכינו
There are stars whose light comes to the earth
Only once they themselves have perished and are no more.
There are people for whom the radiance of their memory causes light to shine
Only once they themselves are among us no more.
Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrach are no longer with us, but their memory shines a bright light on Israel today – a light that the whole world now sees. May their memory illuminate the cracks in a world that we fear might shatter. May their light help us to heal our broken hearts and mend our broken world. As we mourn and as the world watches, my prayer is that we may follow the words we read this coming Shabbat from the prophet Micah:
“God has told you what is good, and what Adonai requires of you: Only to do justice, and to love goodness, and to walk humbly with your God.”
In a time of sadness, pain, and even rage, may our hearts seek a justice that is inspired only by goodness and humility. I pray that the memory of Naftali, Gilad, and Eyal will continue to shine over Jerusalem, over Israel, and over the whole world.