In memoriam: Dekel Swissa

The country is badly wounded and bleeding. A feeling of suffocation that the heart cannot contain.

By Anat Schneider | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
Dekel Swissa

The great catastrophe is still ahead of us! As difficult as things are now, we have not yet buried our dead, whose number is increasing by the minute. The difficult news that is reaching the families who have been waiting with hope is now coming: “Your loved one has been found dead.”

Many of the seriously injured who do not survive are also added to the growing death toll.

The country is badly wounded and bleeding. A feeling of suffocation that the heart cannot contain. And the body almost collapses. I want to escape to sleep, but I can’t do it without a strong sleeping pill.

The sounds of the planes in the sky tonight, the sounds of the bombs, the gunfire. There is no escape.

I check social media in the middle of the night when I’m having trouble falling asleep. Everyone else is doing the same. There is no rest, for anyone.

There are moments when hope even fades. Sometimes she comes back.

And just yesterday morning, when my hope was returning, we were given more terrible news. Our neighbor’s son was killed. Elad’s best childhood friend. They had studied together since first grade.

Childhood friends, our son Elad (l.) and Dekel (r.) on Purim in 2011.

He is the boy who welcomed us when we moved to the moshav 17 years ago. His mother Gila and I are connected by the friendship of children. We did a lot together. We made Purim costumes for them together. We baked, we played, we went on trips together.

Dekel Swissa

And that wonderful boy with the kind blue eyes – is now gone.

How do you behave when you enter the parents’ house? What do you say? I don’t deal well with moments like this. I’m speechless, my throat is tightening.

But there is no other choice, I have to go there.

Her house is just a few houses away from ours. At the entrance to the house there are many cars, many military personnel, many people crying. Outside I meet his Aunt Ruthie, who tells me to come in, to cry together with them for Dekel, who is no more.

Aviel also urges me to go into the house. I go in and meet Moshe, the father. We fall into each other’s arms, cry for several minutes, we can’t find any words. Then I see the mother. She gets up from the couch, hugs me tightly, I hug her, we can’t let go of each other.

There is nothing to say, there is no need to say anything.

The hearts speak for themselves, the connection is sad and true.

And just as it was difficult for me to go in the house, I also find it difficult to go out.

I leave knowing that Dekel Swissa will no longer be there. I will no longer meet him on his way to the synagogue on Shabbat. I will no longer hear from my son Elad what he is doing.

And how do we tell Elad the terrible news? He’s at the front right now.

We decided not to say anything for now. But the bad news spreads like wildfire, and he still found out about it.

His heart is broken.

Our hearts are broken.

Dekel was a smiling boy, a young man full of charm, a wonderful son to his parents and an exemplary soldier.

And he is gone from us. He will forever remain 23 years old.

My neighbor Yehoshua, who went there to encourage the family, said to Moshe: “God takes the best.”


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3 responses to “In memoriam: Dekel Swissa”

  1. Gladys E Ortiz says:

    Wounded but not defeated; sad but with our minds focused on the defeat of our enemies, because Our Almighty God is with us!

  2. ruth.mitchell says:

    I cry with all who mourn about Dekel Swissa. I have his photograph on my cell phone to remind me, that there are many others like him and the mourning families. May God be mercyful to Israel. May many seek HIM through this war.
    Ruth Mitchell

  3. Kitty Tamura says:

    Ohhh. This brought tears to my eyes, and sorrow to my heart! My church in Japan is praying for you all in Israel! May God protect you all and I pray for His comfort to the families and friends of Dekel, and so many others! God bless you!

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