Yad Binyamin is a wonderful mixing bowl: Israelis (mostly) and Anglos; but even more significantly, Yad Binyamin brought in many residents of Gush Katif after the Disengagement (i.e. expulsion). I'll write more about this mix and the benefits that it brings to all of us in another post. That's not my point today.
At last night's Yom Hazikaron ceremony, the organizers dedicated part of the program to those people from the Gush (Katif - we just call it "The Gush", which many Americans confuse for Gush Etzion) who were murdered in terrorist attacks. Watching the names scroll up the screen, I found myself wishing that every name was the last one, and that there would be no more names of murdered women, men, children. Of course the number of killed stayed the same - but each name rising up that screen brings another pang of pain; another family destroyed.
Then I saw a set of names that I recognized. The Chatual family. You may not remember, but Tali Chatuel, together with her four daughters, was murdered in cold blood five years ago - right around this time of year. I remember the devastation we felt even in Michigan; the sadness and anguish and pain.
And I also remembered that I spoke about Tali and her children in shul that Shabbat - which was Parshat Emor. I would like to share that drashah with you, as I think it still carries a powerful message for each of us. You can download the drashah here.
May we elevate the memories of Tali, 34, Hila, aged 11, Hadar, 9, Roni, 7, and Meirav, 2 - through the ways we improve ourselves in their memories.