Saturday was a day of mourning for the people of Israel as 20-year-old IDF Sergent Ronen Lubarsky succumbed to the wounds he sustained a few days prior during a military operation in Ramallah.
Lubasnky, a combat soldier in the elite Duvdevan unit, was critically wounded when a Palestinian terrorist hurled a marble slab at his head him from a third-story rooftop.
Tragic stories of this nature, which unfortunately are far too common, have shaped the national and cultural identity of Israelis.
In Israel, death is very much a part of daily life. Learning how to deal with tragedy has become a routine part of life in Israel. Rather than focusing exclusively on the loss, Israelis make an effort to adhere to the Biblical directive to focus on life.
Addressing the crowd at Ronen’s funeral, his brother Arik said, “It is important that you all should live your lives with joy, love and faith. Build glorious families with many children. Take upon yourself something good to do, something small.”
During these difficult times, the people of Israel come together as one family. Political orientation, religious observance and socioeconomic standing fall to the wayside when Israelis unite in mourning over the loss of one of our own.
Arik continued his eulogy of Ronen, "Even in these painful days I am happy, because the People of Israel have given my family a hug, which I never believed could exist."
Unfortunately, the international media does not pick up on these stories and the world is robbed of the opportunity to learn about brave heroes who have been killed while serving in an unwavering ethical, moral and just army. While these soldiers become immortalized in Israeli society, their contribution to international safety and security generally goes unnoticed.
The sense of unity and the warm embrace described by Arik Lubansky is palpable within our country. While this feeling is wonderfully sentimental, it is far from novel. Individuals and various organizations such as Israel365 have been providing care and support to the families of terror victims for years.
What is specifically heart-warming however, is the support and warm embrace that Israel has received from the American people and its government. The move of the American Embassy to Jerusalem in recent weeks has solidified the unbreakable bond between our two nations and has sparked the desire for other countries to follow suit.
In our nation’s darkest times, while we are mourning the loss of precious life, we could not be more grateful for our strong sense of national unity and for the support and validation of the American government and the country’s pro-Israel community.
Rabbi Tuly Weisz is the director of Israel365, which connects 2 million people to Israel every month. He founded the I365 newsletter, is publisher of Breaking Israel News, and editor of The Israel Bible. He lives with his family in Ramat Beit Shemesh. To read more of his reports, Click Here Now.
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