It is still hard to picture my son – blond hair shining in the light, pale face alive with his smile – without feeling heartrending loss. But I know his soul resides above – cloaked in the warm light of the garments he made for himself beforehand. Too young to have “accomplished” much in our world, I know he strove to worship God with pure intention. Now he basks in the glow of the Divine.
I imagine my son’s last moments. He crouches between the stacks of holy books to which he had committed his every waking moment, hearing the shots ringing out, hearing the screams of those already dying, waiting for the murderer to make his way to his row, with no escape.
I imagine my sixteen year old, who had not yet begun to shave, who awoke before dawn each morning to pray. I imagine him preparing for his own death.
I know his heart’s intentions: pure love for the Holy One, pure longing for the world to come. And as the bullets tear through his thin frame, as the blood leaves his body, above they are weaving his garments of light. As the sirens wail and we search in shock, the angels are busy gathering up the last threads of holy intent.
And as they dance in Gaza with murderous delight, throwing candies to children at the news of eight more dead Jews, above the glowing garments are waiting. Waiting for my son, Avraham David Moses.
Dr. Naftali Moses made aliyah nearly 30 years ago from New York. He lives in Efrat and teaches medical ethics. The above is adapted from his forthcoming book, “Mourning Under Glass: Reflections of An Israeli Father on his Son’s Murder.” For more, visit his website, www.tragic-death.com.