A girl speaking to her best friend, saying the things you can only say to your best friend.
I can’t see her. There are too many people between us. I know she’s not really a girl but she sounds so young…
“Shirush, my dearest darling. That’s how I always started the notes I wrote to you, my best friend. You’ve been my best friend all my life.
I was just with a Taglit tour and they asked me if I knew anyone who was killed in a terror attack. I told them I was lucky. None of the people I love were hurt in a terror attack.
I knew you were in Jerusalem. I heard what happened but it took me a while to realize that it could be you… Why did it have to be you?!
We were supposed to do everything together. We always did. We went to school. The army. What about the trip after the army? What about college? What about a family?
We were together in the Scouts. You always were the one that stood out… Do you remember that day when we were looking at the memorial wall [for scout members who were killed in the army] and we swore to each other that we would never add another name to that wall?
Why do you always have to be the one that is different?!”
A girl, who is not a girl anymore, a soldier herself, talking to the girl who was her best friend, who became a soldier and is now lying cold in the ground.
Utter silence. An entire community stood listening to a one-sided conversation that no girl should ever have to have with her best friend. Classmates, fellow Scouts, soldiers from the same unit, family, grown-ups that had known the dead girl since she was a baby, teachers, neighbors and people who never met her before stood witness. In silence. In the rain. In the cold. Girls shivering with no sound of complaint. Grown men wiping tears from their eyes.
Israelis are so rarely quiet.
A smart girl. A girl who smiled and danced. A girl who told her sister that she was gross because she let her schnitzel touch the mashed potatoes on her plate. A girl whose friends said she was the “Queen of arguments who had a talent for making people love her.”
Shira Tzur was just starting her life. She had wanted to be an IDF officer and she was a cadet in the course when she was murdered alongside Yael Yekutiel, Shir Hajaj and Erez Orbach.
Shira went to the same school as my kids.
She was active in the Scouts, like my kids.
She began the Officers course. The same course my soldier is supposed to start soon.
But Shira will never finish it.
A terrorist decided to run over IDF soldiers with a truck. He deliberately plowed in to them and then backed up over them in order to hurt more. Not because of “settlement building” or because the American embassy might be moved to Jerusalem.
He turned his truck in to a weapon of death because he wanted to kill Israelis.
Because killing Jews would grant his wife and kids a pension for life.
Because everything in his education, media and leadership told him that it is the right thing to do.
Because Obama’s UN resolution declared the IDF soldiers on a learning trip to Jerusalem “illegal occupiers,” that Jews have no connection to Jerusalem.
In his mind, he was completely justified and righteous in his actions. Every message he got from every authority he considered relevant told him so.
I keep hearing the words of a girl who will always miss her best friend: “Shirush, my dearest darling.”
Every stage of life she goes through she will look for Shira and she won’t be there. After the army, in college, when she gets married, has kids… Other people will be there but not Shira.
What are we supposed to tell her?
And Yael’s friends? And Shir’s? And Erez’s?