The war surprised us all. From one second to the next, we were thrown into one big void, a paralyzing shock. No one had any idea what was really happening. For hours on end, relatives and friends try to contact loved ones but there is no answer. Then, in one sad moment, the most terrible news comes in. Gigi was brutally slaughtered by human animals in the middle of the holy day, Yom Simchat Torah. Gigi is Gideon Harel, named after his uncle Gideon who was killed years ago by a bomb from Hamas terrorists!

Only 19 years have passed, and here Gigi was also murdered by the same evildoers. There’s a bond that now can not be broken. The parents sit broken and torn but they have no ability to even mourn, for they are consumed with terrible worry for the other son, Aviad.

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What happens to parents of two children who went to fight together, one is already dead and the worry for the other is agonizing? At a certain point, doubts are allowed, and sure enough, bad news arrives regarding the second brother's fate. Aviad is also gone, the Hamas killers with incomparable cruelty took a third soul from the family. They murdered Aviad and Gigi, and with them, part of the entire family.

We went as a group of friends to be with the family in their terrible hours, and we couldn’t believe what we saw. Besides the deep sorrow, poverty screams from the walls! The family's financial situation is really bad. The devastated parents are unable to pay the rent for the house, and they face immediate eviction. We each collected what we had in our pockets to make sure that the electricity will not be cut off when comforters come to be menachem avel…. A quick check reveals that the parents have large debts, debts that are known to the two 14-year-old brothers, who work here and there to help their parents and the family. And now, who will take care of them? Who will finance the family's psychological treatments that are so desperately needed now?

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The distraught parents cannot work, they are currently dealing with bereavement and pain. It's terrible when it happens to ordinary people, and it's doubly terrible when it affects an entire family.

Then it hit us: We can’t bring Gigi and Aviad back. But to maintain the dignity of the family, to be with them in their difficult times is our most basic duty! When you meet a family that fate has struck three times and it takes another blow and another blow, you cannot ignore it. God does not give a slap with both hands! We must be the shoulder to lean on that is so missing here. If we look away from their pain for a moment, it could be a blow from which the family will no longer be able to rise again. We will all pitch in to help the family in its difficult times. In memory of Gigi and Aviad, we will save their family!

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The two graves
The two gravesCourtesy

Letter of support from Rabbi Re'em Hakohen
Letter of support from Rabbi Re'em HakohenCourtesy