Where is your point of inflection?

We all have our own personal points of inflection. What is yours?

Jeff Daube , | updated: 3:25 PM

Terrain Vehicle
Terrain Vehicle
Yatar Division

For me it was Malki Roth HY”D, a beautiful 14 year old totally devoted to her special needs sibling who was brutally murdered in 2001 along with 14 others at the Sbarro Pizzeria in Jerusalem. For Meira, YATAR’s director of public relations and development, her point of inflection was the 2016 monstrous murder of 13 year old Hallel Yaffa Ariel, stabbed to death while asleep in her Kiryat Arba bed after a dance recital rehearsal.

Meira, an accomplished sommelier and businesswoman, was so heartsick after Hallel’s murder that she committed to changing her entire career trajectory. She decided to devote her entire professional, and to a great extent her personal, life to doing everything humanly possible to prevent such horrific attacks in the future. Thus her commitment to turn the then nascent Yatar initiative into an effective deterrent force against terrorism and criminal activity. And, indeed, that’s just what she and Yatar’s founder and president, Tzuriel R. did.

Yatar units are built around the All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and volunteer counter-terrorism teams made up of highly trained former elite combat and commando veterans who supplement the IDF and Border Police patrols in areas where their four wheel drive jeeps or patrol cars would find the going rough. The Yatar value added is the lithe and speedy state of the art Can-Am ATVs that takes the inaccessibility advantage away from the terrorist.

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Starting with no ATVs and a small core group of dedicated army veterans who patrolled in their own 4-wheel drive SUVs, Yatar has evolved into a force of 250 volunteers and ten ATV’s deployed nationwide. Their effectiveness can be best measured by the frequent IDF and Border Police requests to increase the number of Yatar ATVs, units and patrol areas.

Sadly, we have had far too many beautiful souls who have become catalysts for wonderful humanitarian projects initiated in their memory because of an Israeli urge to memorialize the memories of terror victims by initiating humanitarian projects promoting life and growth. This stands in stark contrast to our Palestinian neighbors who glorify their terrorist murderer heroes and bask in their heinous acts of senseless violence.

I have long wondered why it is that we so often seem to need these tragedies to energize our innate desire to do good. The most recent victim to fall prey to the bestial terrorism that plagues us was Esther Horgan HY”D, a 52 year old mother of six, who was barbarically murdered while jogging in a forest adjacent to her Tal Menashe community.

Esther’s grieving husband, Benjamin, did not need any point of inflection. Shortly after her death and still in unbearable pain, Benjamin resolved that he would honor his wife’s memory by doing whatever he could to prevent the next terrorist tragedy. Benjamin, a security professional, who probably has forgotten more about security matters than most of us collectively ever knew, understood immediately that deterrence was critical and that a Yatar ATV on patrol in the area could very well have provided that deterrence and for all we know could have prevented Esther’s murder.

Esther Horgan was not only a talented artist whose artwork reflected her joie de vivre, Esther was also a couples therapist known for her sensitivity, empathy and extraordinary ability to listen. Those qualities were evident in 2015 when a spate of terror attacks culminating in the stabbing of a young boy just weeks before his bar mitzvah prompted Esther to pen a long poem she titled Fear. Perhaps that heartless attack was Esther’s point of inflection. Here are the last few lines:

And a situation reminds me of my helplessness,

Like seeing a child stabbed a month before his bar mitzvah,

Our prayers join with his mother’s prayers,

Crossing hearts beyond the oceans,

Imploring the Divine Mercy that lies dormant within us.

It is from the depth of our helplessness that we encounter

Omnipotence.

You have to live it to understand it.

The fact is, both Benjamin three months ago and Meira five years ago had it exactly right.

As for me, the murder of Malki Roth in 2001, a full six years before my aliyah, broke my heart. But it also called me to do as much as I could for families of terror victims despite the 6,000 miles between us. When I read Esther’s poem, the line “Crossing hearts beyond oceans” reminds me that despite the separation of seas, our hearts and our wills can still cross those vast expanses, these days in nanoseconds, in order to help our Israeli brothers and sisters.

Today the Esther Horgan z”l Memorial YATAR ATV Charidy Campaign makes it possible for you to reach across oceans to provide for the safety and security of all. Your donation will bring us that much closer to acquiring a new fully equipped $85,000 Can-Am ATV.

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We all have our own personal points of inflection. What is yours?



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