By: Mato Wexler
One month after the biggest terrorist attack that Medinat Israel suffered, I want to share with you what this month has meant for the Tnua. On October 7th at 6:30 am we were about to start the last day of the Manhigut International Camp, MIC. In this world seminar we were in the north of Israel, chaverim and chaverot from Shnat Hachshara Latin America, chaverim and chaverot from Tnua in Europe and from English speaking programs, Olim and Olot from Tnua and chaverim and chaverot from Mazkirut Olamit, 130 people in total. That day that began with the hard news and images of what was happening in the south of the country quickly led us to understand and comprehend the magnitude of what was happening and that as Tnua we had to reorganize ourselves to be able to guarantee the physical and emotional integrity of the 130 participants of the MIC and different programs that were scattered in different parts of the country. As the day went by and we received more information, the reality hit us harder and harder and pending on what was happening in the south we began to visualize and plan all possible scenarios. There were multiple focuses of thought and concern, on the one hand the kibbutzim of the south, our chaverim of Ein Hashlosha and Nitzanim…we also had a group of Olim in Kibbutz Nir Yitzchak, who we knew were refugees and in danger, the reality was beyond imagination, beyond our ability to digest what was happening and between anguish, sadness and concern we dedicated our efforts to find the best answers and generate tranquility in our participants in a moment of extreme uncertainty.
On October 8th, when we managed to reorganize the participants and place them in safe places, we received the hard news that Eitan Horn, who was a sheliach of the Tnua in Peru, was kidnapped together with his brother Iair. In parallel to this news, we also received the terrible news that a chaver Hanoar Hatzioni Peru, Daniel Levy Z¨L, was missing and later it was confirmed that he had been murdered, while he heroically prioritized to help as a doctor to the wounded of Kibbutz Beeri before saving himself from the massacre.
The news hit us more and more, Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha had been very affected having to evacuate its entire population. In Kibbutz Kfar Aza, David Schvartzman Z¨L died together with his wife Orly, David was a chaver from Hanoar Hatzioni Paraguay and Orly was born in Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. In these attacks many of our chaverim in Israel and around the world lost loved ones, or have loved ones who have been injured, survived or/and had to leave their homes. Also many tnua chaverim in Israel and around the world have loved ones kidnapped by Hamas.
The damages are so great, in many occasions irreparable and it is here that as a worldwide Tnua, which for almost 100 years dedicates all its efforts to the strengthening of Medinat Israel and the connection of the Diaspora with Israel, we have a great responsibility and duty to be active and help with all our resources to support those who need help and to rebuild physically and emotionally what was destroyed. Thus, since October 7th we make our efforts to be relevant to our more than 60 chayalim and chayalot who are in the Tzahal doing their obligatory service or as reservists, we think about them day and night and we do what is in our power so that they are accompanied and do not lack anything. We are also helping and our hundreds of Olim and Olot, some recently arrived and others more established, especially we try to help from the emotional aspect. We are in a war, we lost loved ones, we have friends and family in the army. Israeli society is in a constant state of mourning and we do our best to accompany and accompany each other in these difficult times.
As a worldwide Tnua, we have the responsibility and duty to work day by day, both in Israel and in the Diaspora, so that the kidnapped are returned to their homes and Israel has the legitimacy to defend itself and to be a free and safe country for its population and all who visit it. As a Zionist, Jewish, humanistic and educational Tnua we must continue to support Israel, our chayalim and olim, the affected kibbutzim and the families of the victims and the kidnapped. We have to support with resources, with activities and continue to participate in the programs in Israel, today more than ever Medinat Israel needs the Diaspora.
Today, one month after this terrorist attack, which does not stop hurting, we want to embrace the families of the fallen, especially the family of Daniel Levy Z¨L and David Shcvartzman Z¨L. We embrace the families of the kidnapped, especially the family of Eitan and Iair Horn, demanding and wishing for their prompt return home. We embrace the people of the kibbutzim and towns of the south who have lost so many people and have had to leave their homes, especially the chaverim of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha. We embrace our chayalim and chayalot and thank them for defending us day and night. We embrace our Olim and Olot who carry the country forward day by day. We embrace all our kenim, shlikhim, madrichim, chaverim and keilot around the world who are also victims of hatred and anti-Semitism and yet carry on the peilut chinuchit keeping the bond with Israel alive.
Today marks one month of this war and in the same way that we have to look back to understand what we lived through, honor the memory and fight for the freedom of the kidnapped. We must build and rebuild looking forward, today more than ever we must fight for our national home, the only one we have and that needs us more than ever. Am Israel Chai!
Chazak Ve Ematz