On June 30th, Israel learned the news it had been dreading. For 18 days we had been consumed...please God, bring them home...all of them, at least two...at least one. Please God, don't let us lose all three. We can't bear to see the families suffer more; those precious mothers and fathers who continue to offer us hope and courage and faith; who demand that we hold on and be optimistic.
And then, on that day, word began to leak out...it's bad. Very bad...as bad and as horrible as it gets. The next day, there were the funerals...and shortly after that, the war began.
We are waiting now - waiting to see what happens on Rosh Hashana. The boys' deaths helped uncover a plan to launch a massive attack on Rosh Hashana - hundreds likely would have died, been injured...we can only imagine the damage that could have taken place as Jews gathered in synagogues across the country.
Instead, the tunnels have been destroyed - it not all, than most. Hundreds of Hamas operatives (terrorists and killers) are dead and we enter this new year with hope and faith. And as we do, the news comes that our soldiers have tracked down the killers of the three boys. Justice has been done.
There will still be a trial but not on earth; in fact, the trial is taking place at this moment in the Courts of Heaven. On June 30th, in anger and anguish, I wrote of the deepest pain:
I thought of so many messages as I drove back from Nof Ayalon tonight.
The first was to the killers - congratulations, I wanted to tell them. You successfully murdered three children. What brave men you are, what heroes you are. Your mothers are proud of you...and perhaps for that I pity you most. With mothers like that, no wonder you grew into the twisted animals you are.
They think you are heroes; they think you are brave. It doesn't really take much bravery to murder three children, but never mind...you'll have to be very brave now because the most successful and brave men, the real heroes in this world, our sons, will be hunting you now.
You won't last long. It may take a week, a few weeks, it might even take months. You'll live these last days, weeks, or months hiding like the sniveling cowards you are.
There will be true justice. Perhaps it will take 18 days before you are caught, one day for each of the days you made these families and these nations suffer. But whether man's justice takes days or weeks or months or years, God's justice is eternal. When you meet God; then you will understand. Then and only then, will you pay the price for what you have done. Gilad, Naftali and Eyal are with God now, in a better place, loved and cherished...your future, God knows.
I hope, I pray, I beg our soldiers to kill you in the firefight that will come.
And so the next message is to Israel's soldiers. Please, please find a way. I don't care what the world says now - let them die. We have no death penalty in Israel; the only one we have ever put to death in 66 years is Adolf Eichmann for crimes against the Jewish people.
In those seconds when the battle rages, may your aim be true. The world will condemn us no matter what we do - better they condemn us for the deaths of these murderers, than they condemn us for throwing them in jail and then when the murderers declare a hunger strike, demand that we release them. In those seconds, when you have them in range, end it. For Naftali. For Eyal. For Gilad. For their mothers. For Israel. End it.
And this is what they did - with the help of the terrorists themselves who opened fire when they were surrounded; who gave our soldiers no choice which was, ultimately, the best choice of all. Their aim was true. They ended it. For Naftali. For Eyal. For Gilad. For their mothers. For all of Israel.
And the final message is to the Israeli government. We are watching you. We need to believe in you now. You know the anger and the pain of Jewish blood being taken this way. Act now. Do something - stop this from happening again.
This remains my final message, my final challenge. There is no more we can do for the three boys, other than to hold on to the love and the unity that in their deaths was born. But in their memory, our government can pledge that no one will ever thing Jewish blood is cheap again. We promised we would hunt them down...and we did. For this ending, there is a new beginning - a new year.
May the memory of Gilad, Eyal and Naftali always be blessed; may their families know no more sorrow, and more, may they know our gratitude. In their grace, with their faith, they led us through what was, without question, the worst moments of their lives. May they go from strength to strength with our love.