Michael Rogatchi (C). Kaddish. Oil on canvas. 1995.

Several of our close friends in Israel are frantically busy these awful days. They are busy with only one thing. Funerals. One after another. Several a day. For several days. I never knew anything like that happening in a close proximity. 

Many people have their close circles hit with savages’ crimes. Once somebody you know has been viciously murdered , your soul rushes your body to the farewell. Our tradition in this respect is deep, thoughtful and exceedingly humane. 

With our people’s history, and its recent history when the Holocaust had become so terrifyingly near to us, to say respectful, meaningful farewell is a must. 

I am worried about some of our friends who have been attending  many funerals frantically , some of them as many as three per day. Our friends are not young. And they are not in the best medical form, to put it mildly. 

But they are determined to spend their days at this daring moment to their very best. And this best , under the circumstances of all-nation in Israel  and global Jewish mourning is to be able to be present physically and to say the Kaddish to as many people as they possibly could. 

I am just thinking of an  unprecedented density of horrifying non-stop funerals of known 1 400 victims of the Hamas terror , and counting, in the souls of those who have made their mission to respect as many souls as possible at their departure. What a trial. And I am so incredibly grateful to those very brave Jewish people who have volunteered with this endlessly sorrowful mission. And I am proud of my people.I always will remember this simple but so very demanding reaction and deeds. 

There are also attentive people who volunteered to do another similar task : to check and to make sure that there are people visiting mourners who are sitting the shiva, a week – long mourning observance according to Jewish tradition. “ Please, there is elderly lady alone evacuated from the  south to Jerusalem who is sitting the shiva for her son. She should not be alone , please visit her. Here is the address”. “ At this address in Tel Aviv, there is a couple who are sitting shiva for their only son. Their Hebrew is not that well. Please visit them and bring something to eat. “ Please make sure to comfort the father who is sitting shiva for his daughter’s family. Address is here. I find it incredible and natural at the same time. There are many people who are actually caring. Who are doing their bit every day during these nightmare-like days, to comfort those in the most need after Israel and Jewish National tragedy. There is love. There is care. There is compassion without slogans. The reality of understated goodness – this is what keeps me going.