One ZAKA volunteer, Yossi Fraenkel, shared his experiences this week at the horrific terror attack at Armon Hanatziv in Jerusalem where 4 soldiers were murdered.
Fraenkel describes the moment he heard about the attack, how he went to the scene as quickly as he could and their holy task of dealing with the bodies of the murdered, as he has done on – unfortunately – all too many other occasions.
But this time was different, as he describes:
The chaos subsides, emergency forces start to leave the scene and we are left with the silence of death.
On the green grass, with the golden rays of the sun on a winter’s day, lie four bodies scattered around the wheels of the truck, their holy blood being absorbed into the ground.
Four young people whose lives were cut short at that moment.
Four more broken families.
Four murdered, holy and pure.
Four worlds that were once full of life once, now stopped as if someone just pulled their plug.
I scan the scene and asses the nature of our work, the holy work of Chesed Shel Emet (true kindness), stepping between the medical equipment that was supposed to bring life to the wounded and the victims’ personal belongings. We are divided into teams and start to work.
I was working alongside a close friend – together we have attended countless incidents honoring the dead, but nothing prepared us for what happened next….
As we are assisting the forensics officer and army representative in identifying the body of the young officer, we hear the victim’s phone ringing.
On the screen – Dad is calling, Dad is calling, Dad is calling, Dad is calling.
We hold the phone as if frozen.
We are four people with a lot of experience in handling disasters and we fail to function.
Dear pure and holy one, heaven bound, your father is looking for you on the phone and calling endlessly but he still does not know that your Father in Heaven has accepted you with a loving embrace.
You died in the sanctification of the name of G-d.
May your memory be blessed.
You can read his whole account below.