Six months have passed since the terrible Meron disaster but the wounds are still fresh for those who lost their loved ones on that terrible day. Kikar H’Shabbat spoke to three family members: Rav Yeshayahu Fogel, the father of Yedidya Fogel, z’l, 22, Rav Dovid Levy, the father of Moshe Levy, z’l, 14, and Rav Shai Tzarfati, the son of Rav Moshe Tzarfati, z’l, 65.
Dovid Levy: The feelings aren’t easy. We try to be mechazeik in emunah, in the knowledge that everything is from Shamayim. That’s what strengthens us.”
Shai Tzarfati: “First of all, we miss him terribly. At the shiva we were surrounded by support and also the month afterward. But then we began feeling the lack – the telephone calls we used to have with him, the table on Friday, the advice, the conversations, and so much more. His grandson got engaged and his absence was felt very much. I and many of the guests felt like we were waiting for him to show up but it didn’t happen. Living without him is what’s hard.”
Yeshayahu Fogel: “A half a year has passed – 180 days. It was Yedidya’s birthday on Shabbos. We did a campaign – we wanted to connect a little with Am Yisrael who supported us so much during the shiva. [The campaign, called Tanichu Rega, which called for people to put on tefillin and post photos on social media, saw over 100,000 people donning tefillin in memory of Yedidya, z’l, including people who hadn’t put on tefillin since their bar mitzvah.]
How do you deal with your loss?
Shai Tzarfati: I try to mention my father all the time and commemorate him. We’re a close family – we bring up memories and keep a place for Abba alive. In a certain sense, we act as if he’s alive.”
Yeshayahu Fogel: “To lose a son, my youngest son? It’s very not simple. Every day we remember all kinds of small things from his childhood. We hoped he would marry and have a family. ”
Dovid Levy: “It’s impossible to deal with a loss like this. We try to do as much as possible l’illui nishmaso.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)