Appreciate Life

Yesterday’s Jerusalem terror attack made it clear that we are still far from normal life and that we should cherish every day

Jewish mourners place candles in the shape of a Star of David at the spot where Eli Kay was gunned down by a terrorist in Jerusalem's Old City. Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Yesterday served as an unfortunate reminder that life in Israel can never completely be normal until we get terrorism under control. We are still focused quite a bit on Corona. We hear about the fourth wave of infections in Europe, the government wants to start vaccinating children, and the list of countries to which we can fly is constantly changing. And then, yesterday morning, the terrible news that terror is still with us.

It is a return to everyday life in a way, but not the everyday life that we want.

Eli Kay was on his way to work at the Western Wall, where he served as a guide. But before he could reach Judaism’s holiest site, he was cut down by terrorist gunfire.

Until a year ago Eli was still in the Israeli army as a “lone soldier” with the paratroopers. That was his dream when he immigrated from South Africa in 2016, alone. After serving in the IDF, Eli volunteered on a kibbutz near the Gaza border. He dreamed of finding love in Israel and raising a family, as his host mother told local radio. And this dream seemed to be coming true. Eli was engaged to be married in six months. His parents and siblings moved in December 2020 and settled in Modi’in. Everything seemed to be going so wonderfully, the Zionist dream seemed to be coming true. Until those shots rang out yesterday morning.

Last night I went to our supermarket down the street to do some shopping for the start of the week. On my way back I suddenly saw a group of photographers, cameramen and journalists in front of a house right across from the supermarket.

Cameramen and journalists on my street in Modiin

I got a queasy feeling. Eli Kay’s family are practically our neighbors. I realized that this tragedy can happen to any of us. Eli left the house yesterday, here in Modi’in, to go to work, as we all do. I also drive to our office in Jerusalem, it’s a completely normal everyday life. For Eli it wasn’t this time. The shots of the 42-year-old terrorist tore him from his still very young life. What a tragedy for his family and fiancé.

I realized once again that we need to value our daily life, nothing should be taken for granted. And I hope that at some point we will be able to live a really normal everyday life.

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