I can't sleep.
Every time I close my eyes, I see those three smiling faces. The faces of the three boys we all became so familiar with over these past two weeks.
The sweet, happy, innocent faces of three young boys who just wanted to come home for shabbos.
And I cry.
I can't sleep.
Every time I try, I hear that last phone call. "Chatfu oti" I hear. I hear those animals yelling at our three boys. I hear them screaming, "Rosh Limata" again and again. I hear the gunshots.
I try to squeeze my eyes shut, stop my pounding heart, but those images remain with me.
I am haunted.
I am in that car with those three boys. I feel their terror. I feel their panic. My heart constricts with pain. I see the guns, I feel the bullets. I feel the confusion and utter sense of loss as these boys-our boys-me-face their unknown, scary, near-death.
And I have so many questions.
What went through their minds during those last moments?
Who died first?
How much did they fight back?
What was it like for the boys who were still alive to see their friends being shot? Killed?
How much pain were they in?
And I know that I will never know.
But I ask.
I am thirsty. Thirsty for knowledge.
I want to know.
I want to understand.
I know I cannot understand.
But I want to make sense of this.
I want to try.
I want to make sense of the senseless.
Of this crazy, horrific story.
I read everything I can.
I check the news, hoping to gain insight. Clarity. Understanding.
All I get is confusion.
I don't understand.
I can't understand.
I can't wrap my head around this.
My mind can't stretch far enough to understand this.
My head feels like it's going to explode.
My mind has wandered far enough.
My heart feels so much pain.
I'm back in the car with these three boys.
I am haunted.
I can't think other thoughts.
I cannot be distracted-not at this hour.
How are these parents functioning?
How are the siblings dealing with this?
I am far, far away from them all. But I feel so close.
Am Yisroel is crying.
We are all mourning together.
We all feel this incredible pain.
There is so much we don't understand. So much we can't understand.
Yet, one thing we do know.
These three boys are sitting together, in a place so lofty and so high, reserved for the kedoshim, those holy souls whose lives were taken just because they were Jews.
And they understand.
They know why.
This all makes sense to them.
And I try to find a measure of comfort in that.
In the knowledge that Someone understands, even though I cannot.
This unbelievable tragedy connected Am Yisroel and brought us all together.
We are One Nation, united. We are not divited by externals-by the kind of yarmulka we wear, by the way we cover our hair, the way we dress, the shuls we daven in. We are One.
We all connected through this painful story and davened to Hashem to #BringBackOurBoys.
But He brought those boys back to His throne. Close to Him.
That's where He wanted them.
They are up there, at peace, at Home.
We are down here, confused and so alone.
Hashem, now we daven, bring US back Home.