Fighting evil with good

After losing her father and brother, she discovered light could be extracted from the darkness.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Orit Mark-Ettinger
Orit Mark-Ettinger
Screenshot from Boomerang

After losing her father in a terror attack three years ago, and her older brother in a road accident three months ago, Orit Mark decided to chase darkness with light and founded an organization with more than 900 volunteers who cheer up patients in hospitals every week.

The Or Michael association was founded by Orit Mark Ettinger, who lost her father, Rabbi Michael (Mickey) Mark, in a terrorist shooting attack in the summer of 2016. Rabbi Mark, 48, dean of Otniel's hesder yeshiva, was murdered on the highway in the southern Hevron hills. He left behind a wife and ten children.

His wife, Chava, and two of their children, Pdaia and Tehilla, were also in the car during the attack and were wounded.

Then, three years later, one week after Purim 2019, Shlomi Mark, Miki's son, was killed in a road accident near Kiryat Gat. He left behind a wife and three children.

Orit told Makor Rishon that after hearing about her brother's serious injury, "I felt it wasn't really happening, that I was in a dream. I said to myself: It doesn't make sense, G-d is not doing this to us again, and not to Shlomi, he is a hero…"

"In the hospital I said to G-d: What are you doing? Explain to me, I want answers. Give me some understanding of what's going on here, because it seems illogical. You're taking Shlomi now? You're really exaggerating...

"During my father's shiva (week of mourning), Shlomi said, 'I am grateful for the 27 years I have merited to know this father.' And now I find myself saying, 'Thank you for the brother I had for twenty years.'"

In all this darkness, having lost two of her beloved family members, Orit decided that she wanted to extend the light that emanated from her father and brother who had been so brutally torn away, and to use this light to illuminate dark places of suffering and pain.

Orit founded an organization in memory of her father which she called Or Michael (Michael's Light), with more than 900 volunteers who come to hospitals around the country every week, enter the various departments with their musical instruments, songs, surprises and anything else that helps patients forget the pain for a few moments, replacing it with joy, hope, warmth and love.

"People tell me: Stop dealing with bereavement all the time," Orit says, "But I feel that there is where strength lies."