Sunday, April 25, 2004

From tonight until tomorrow evening Israel officially remembers and honors those who were killed or murdered "in the battles of Israel". Their official number stands at 21,781 ( "From the time the first Jewish settlers left the walls of Jerusalem in 1860 and started building Jewish quarters, to April 19 [2004]"; the number of those who were killed between November 29th 1947 and April 4th 2004 is 20,196 ), which as far as I know includes the civilians who were murdered by terrorists. Since such a number is hardly fathomable, especially for anyone who has been lucky enough not to have experienced a personal loss as a result of the continuous struggle that in most cases we have been forced to put up for our very survival, here I will refer to only one personal story, that of a promising young girl whom I never met or knew, but about whom I just read on the Israeli website www.nana.co.il. Tal Kehrmann was murdered by a suicide bomber in a bus on March 5th 2003 in the Moriah Avenue in Haifa, three months before her 18th birthday. Only weeks before she died she started a weblog in Hebrew, named My Demented World, on which you can read the things that - I suppose - many 17-year old girls think and write about. On her blog she had a list of books that she especially liked. It says that she is in the middle of reading The Lord of the Rings + The Hobbit. She never would finish reading that epic. On the beautiful website built to honor her memory and celebrate her life you can read about one victim of the hatred and absurdity that surround us, look at her pictures, read comments by some of her friends and teachers as well as some poems that Tal wrote only days before being assassinated, sign a guestbook and light a virtual candle in her memory. May her memory and that of the other 21,780 be blessed.

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