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Last uploaded : Thursday 18th Jul 2002 at 11:22
Contributed by : Naomi Ragen


Tonight we will gather fasting in the synagogue, sit on the floor, tear our clothes, put ashes on our heads and read the scroll of Lamentations. We do this every year on the anniversary of the Temple?s destruction, on the most terrible day in the Jewish calendar: The ninth day of the Jewish month of Av.

We will sit on the floor and remember: The passenger bus coming back from B?nai Brak full of the voices of children, the tiny voices of babies and the comforting noises of their mothers, and we will remember how it wound its way through Judah, nearing home. And then we will hear the sounds: grenades thrown through the roof by..men? Is that the name we shall give them? The bombs logged at this unarmed bus full of women holding babies, and young fathers, and grandmothers and teenagers. And then we shall see them, one by one, as they tried to get off the bus. We will see Judith Weinberg, 22
years old, a teacher in Bait Yaakov, returning after successfully completing her final teacher?s exams, in her eighth month of pregnancy, as she lumbers down the steps, her body heavy and slow.

And we shall see the men who turn their rifles towards her, piercing her stomach. Doctors performed a c-section, delivering her little boy. He lived one day.

?How does the city sit solitary that was full of people!
She weepeth sore in the night
And her tears are on her cheeks
She has none to comfort her among her lovers
All her friends have dealt treacherously with her,
They have become her enemies (Lamentations 1,2)?

Still in the bus was the Shilon family. Ayelet and her husband Gal had spent the weekend in Givatayim with her parents, Zilpah and Moshe. The
grandparents enjoyed their grandchildren, the eight-month old twins, Galia Esther and Sarah, and two-year old Or Chayim (the light of life). The father, Gal, a former pilot , returned home to Emanuel on Sunday. His wife followed with the children on bus 189 on Tuesday. Grandmother Zilpah accompanied her daughter to help her with the babies on the trip home.

When the bombs started, Ayelet called Gal on her cell phone. He didn?t have a car, so he ran all the way until the town?s gardener gave him a lift to the entrance of Emanuel. There he saw three men dressed as Israeli soldiers in uniform. When he approached them, they turned around and shot him in cold blood. On the bus, the same three men killed his eight month old Sara, and her grandmother Zilpah. His wife Ayelet is fighting for her life. Or Chayim has shrapnel in his head, and a bullet in his two-year old shoulder.

Only Galia Esther was unharmed.

Jerusalem remembers
In the days of her affliction and of her anguish
All her treasures that she had
From the days of old
And now her people fall by the
Hand of the adversary
And none do help her
They have mocked at her desolations.

Ilana Sitton, a cosmetician, was returning after having registered her 14-year old daughter for high school. She was murdered. Her daughter is
hospitalized. Yonatan Gamliel, a sixteen year old high school student returning home, was murdered. Keren Kashani, 30, a single mother with one son, was murdered on her way home..

Let it not come unto you, all you that pass by!
Behold and see!
If there be any pain like unto my pain, which
Is done unto me?

Naomi Ragen - Web page :



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