A Reluctant Step Back

Shortly after we returned from Israel late in October 2023, at the end of each of our weekly blogs we began posting the name and picture of one of the people murdered by Hamas terrorists on that day as well as the name and picture of one of those taken hostage. With a heavy heart, I wanted to let you know that, for now at least, we will no longer be doing so.

Why did we want to share these names and a short bio of these individuals? Whether or not the murderous Josef Stalin ever said that “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistic,” the sentiment is, tragically, true. Each of the approximately 1,600 individuals slaughtered or kidnapped on October 7, has parents, and/or siblings, spouses and children. Many have grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles. The dead, wounded, and captured were taken from loving friends, employees and employers, patients and clients. The world lost specific talents and gifts that cannot be replaced. We wanted to present unique pictures to help bring to life the unique people.

So, why are we stopping? We have not come close to introducing everyone. It has been my privilege to choose those we highlighted in each blog. I tried to rotate among young, middle-aged, and old; male and female, Israeli and foreign workers, to bring the reality home as much as possible.

Finding and writing up these selections took a toll in time. More importantly, it took an emotional toll. There are still too many hostages and the world’s so-called leaders have little interest in them. There are thousands of grieving Israelis, Jews, and other caring people around the world. Rockets and missiles are being launched daily with the goal of destroying the Jewish state and its inhabitants (and subsequently much of the rest of the world). Hatred is gushing on campuses and streets around the world. There are many reasons to feel sorrow. And I do.

I pray frequently for the hostages and for those families who lost loved ones on and since October 7th. But right now, as a beloved relative of ours is facing a difficult time after four years of battling an illness, I need to draw the circle closer as to how much sadness I can manage while continuing to function. Devoting several hours each day to the challenges of my own family situation and never having it far from my heart and mind, I am relinquishing the honor I have had a number of times a week in finding the biographies to be featured. I trust that my stepping back will not lead to your prayers and actions diminishing.

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