Yesterday we learned that these three boys, kidnapped eighteen days ago, were murdered soon after they were captured. Their bodies were discovered yesterday in hastily dug graves outside of Hebron. It was announced at 8:30 in the evening here in Israel.
My friends and I were in the midst of a lecture when our phones began flashing news alerts. Still our learning continued and then at its conclusion the sad news was announced to the assembled group. We stood together and as one. A colleague recited El Malei Rachamim and offered prayers for these three young souls. We sang Hatikvah. We stood quietly and then offered each other hugs as well as the occasional tears.
I am thankful to once again be in Jerusalem to renew my learning. I walk the city’s streets in the cool desert evenings and breath in the air of this remarkable and beloved city. But today the air is thick with grief and mourning. There is worry about what tomorrow will bring.
We recall the memories of Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach. I pray that their families and friends discover some measure of consolation. May our nation one day find peace.
For now our hearts are joined in sorrow and our people united in grief.