A letter from Hadar Goldin who was killed by Hamas HY"D. I am touched by his appreciation of his parents which is so often lacking in children [often until they become parents] and his sense of mission. He was killed shortly before he was supposed to have been married. As we say in tfillas Nachem לבי לבי על חלליהם מעי מעי על חלליהם. It is heartbreaking to think of the loss of his kallah and family. And the countless other people who have been killed in the last 69 years for the sin of being Jewish and wanting to live in Eretz Yisrael in peace. Particularly my upstairs neighbor Yochai Lifshitz HY"D who was killed in the Mercaz Harav massacre. We continue to believe [the link is not to "happy" music and is thus not forbidden to listen to during sefira].
Dear Mom and Dad,
"I am sitting in a train to Poland, in the corner. I don't know how many other children, similar to me and different from me, sat here - and they were all Jews. They were torn from their homes, from their families, from their parents and children. They didn't know where they were being sent, or where they were going. But I want to tell you that because of you, I know where I am going.
"I am going to Israel. To my country and to your country. And I understand, because of you, what my Israel gives me. But most of all, I understand what I need to give of myself, to my country. When I look into myself, I know I have the strength to give above and beyond what is required. Whether it means representing my country, our country, abroad, in Chesterton and Cambridge, or at school and in our community.
"[I need to be] straight and smart, and if there are no other men - to be a man! And to be a person, like you always say. With my friends, in school, to succeed and be the best I can be. To represent and protect my country with weapons in the IDF, and before and after army, to use weapons of a different sort. And to always use the tools you have given me.
"Mom and Dad, I want to thank you.
"Dad, thank you for building and helping me build myself. Thank you for the unending supervision, guidance, and lessons. Mom! Thank you for helping me find what I lost - myself, every time. You helped me find myself, you helped lift me up and helped me stand, so I wouldn't fall. Thank you for always worrying, supporting, and praying for me. Thank you for the unending lessons I am always learning from both of you.
"Everything I see in Poland brings me back to you, to my grandmothers, to Tzur [Hadar's twin - ed.] and Ayelet and Hemi, and the thought that Tzur and I, and all of us, are the walking victory of the Jewish nation. We have an enormous task, and I am willing to take it on myself. And this is probably the reason that from the moment I was born, you placed this mission on my shoulders. It is in your merit.
"I am going to get off the train now, like so many other Jews before me. They walked their last journey, and died sanctifying G-d's name, or survived, sanctifying life. I am walking in the path they showed me, and I will grow from their ashes.
"I wanted to tell you that I love you, with all my heart. Maybe I don't always say it, but my heart always says it. I hope my actions will show you how much I love you, during all the times I don't say it [with words].
"I love you always.
The bodies of slain IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul,have been held by the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza since Operation Protective Edge in 2014.