Chief Rabbi David Lau paid a condolence call to the family of missing soldier Oron Shaul during the traditional week of mourning for the soldier's father, who died several days ago. Rabbi Lau travelled to the Shaul home in a village near the Sea of Galilee (The Kinneret in Hebrew).
Oron's mother, Rivka, requested that Rabbi Lau ensure that people pray for the return of her son's body. In response, the Rabbinate formulated this prayer: "May our merciful Father, Who dwells on high, in His tremendous mercy, visit mercy upon the holy and pure soldiers Hadar ben (son of) Simcha and Chedva Leah, and Oren ben Hertzel and Zahava, who sacrificed their lives for the sake of His holy name. More swiftly than eagles, and more mightily than lions, these soldiers did the will of their Owner, and the desire of their Designer, with strength and humility. May G-d remember them for good, with the other righteous people, and bring them to a Jewish grave, as it is written, 'To his mother bring him,' and may they rest in peace on their resting place, Amen.
Earlier, it was publicized that Hertzel Shaul, who lost a battle with cancer, wrote a letter to his son Oron (whose body is still held by Hamas).
The day before his passing, Hertzel asked his son Aviram, who was sitting beside his bed, to type the letter to Oron. He used his last bit of energy to personally sign the letter.
"My Oron, my heroic son, my courageous warrior," Oron's father began his letter, "since you left, my body has started to rebel against me. I will not lie, my physical health could have been better, but to my dismay, it has deteriorated, every day, a little more, and a little more."
"And despite this, I continue to be strong and believe," continued the bereaved father. "It is forbidden for me to yield, because I want to arrive at the moment I have imagined since the moment you were kidnapped. This moment, in which the Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff of the army call me and say, 'Hertzel, Sergent Oron Shaul, a fighter in the Golani Brigade came home this evening from the battlefield."
"Oron my love, if you see this letter when you return, certainly they will tell you the entire story of suffering which has befallen us before you returned from captivity." He wrote that regarding the "lies and manipulations of all of those people whom we respected and venerated in the past, my request is that you should not hold any grudge or anger [at them]. Do you know why? Because there is no nation in the world like the Jewish nation."
"Oron, my love, I have a confession. Remember when you enlisted to Golani, and Mother begged that you should recant your decision because it is dangerous? You should just know, despite my not telling you this, that in my heart I was filled with pride and joy. I want to apologize to my beloved son for not responding to your mother," concluded Shaul in the last letter to his son.