A group of students from the Derech Avot High School of Ohr Torah Stone educational network in Efrat decided to deviate from their previously scheduled itinerary on a yearly outing to make a condolence visit to the home of Yazan Falah, the Druze Border Guard officer killed in the terror attack in Hadera earlier this week,
As the group of tenth graders was heading north for the annual rite of passage to tour the land, they approached the village of Kisra-Sumei where Falah had lived, and decided that they wanted to pay respects to the family. While, initially, the idea was to send just a few student representatives into the home, as they got closer all 80 boys expressed interest in being part of the visit.
The school’s principal Yoni Hollander quickly agreed and soon thereafter they were greeted warmly by the Falah family. “As Jews, our presence here in this land has always been alongside others and we have a particular bond in modern times with the Druze people,” Hollander said. “Sadly this is a bond too often written in blood, but our joint prayer is that it will soon become one of peace.”
Yazan’s uncle Amal Falach addressed the students in the courtyard of the family home saying, “There is no doubt that through mourning we are more united and we are all partners in this national pain. Our hearts are broken and I am sure that your students are now feeling a part of that pain. The fact that you chose to divert from your planned trip and insisted on coming to mourn and strengthen us is not something anyone could take for granted. Moreover, it proves how in your youth you already feel this sense of unity and empathy that exists between us. We all live in the same place, the same state and we have nowhere else to go. We have no other country and we are all destined for that same fate as partners in life.”
Benyamin Gottleib, 16, one of the Derech Avot students, remarked that it was an extremely emotional visit. “When Yazan’s uncle spoke, we saw the tears in his eyes and we were able to truly feel his pain. At the same time, we felt a sense of happiness that they could better understand the level of support they were getting from the Jewish people. While this experience left us feeling sad, we were exposed to how another religion mourns and we were blessed to be welcomed into their home. For a few brief moments, we were able to be a part of one extended family.”