Ronn Torossian
Ronn TorossianCourtesy

Like many of us, I have had trouble sleeping since October 7th. Our lives have been thrown into an uproar. A different existence. Every morning we wake up to the “cleared for publication” a list of IDF soldiers who were killed the day before and whose names and faces we are now permitted to see. Their families have been informed, and we all scan the list for names we know. Fear and pain every day. Every day we think of our hostages who are being held in Gaza. A war which we were forced into, an attack upon our people who were sleeping in their beds and dancing in the desert partying.

I cried my eyes out yesterday and couldn’t sleep all night when I learned that 26-year-old Shaul Greenglick was killed fighting in the IDF in Gaza, only a few weeks after he auditioned for The Next Star” show singing “Blind Bat,” which was written by the performer and writer who many call the "singer of this war", Hanan Ben Ari. A song about finding courage and happiness.

I sat in my living room in Tel Aviv watching him a few weeks ago after a long evening with a friend who returned home from a month's fighting in Gaza. Loved his voice, strength and presence and his beaming parents in the audience. And as I often I do as anyone who knows me knows, I can replay the same song 100 times in a row. I did that with the song that evening.

After the audition, Shaul announced that he was dropping out of the competition “in favor of an old dream, to fight for my country,” explaining

"I imagined this year differently; a year of ambitions and fulfilling dreams. Now I am living an old dream, to fight for my country, and we are currently in the middle of the night ... a new dream and another dream will have to wait a little longer. Thank you for the warm and encouraging words and for the good reviews. I hope this period passes and that it will pass quickly." He added: "I promise to continue fighting for this country that I love and for my dreams in the future. At the moment, there is only one thing on my mind, and that is to continue fighting in the darkness until we see the light. This is the end of our broadcasts for the upcoming season."

A singing Jewish hero.

And last night after his death was announced, a video made the rounds which showed him being hugged by his mom as he was home for a break from reserve duty while his family sang Shlomo Artzi’s “Teta’aru Lachem,” a song of longing for a world without sadness or fear, as his mother held him with her eyes closed. Can this pain be real? Did she have a sign? Every Israeli knows this song. Every Jew can identify with this family. All of us are sobbing.

As Shaul sang, “Give me strength to find courage within me, to see a sign, because even the child that was within me died some time ago.I am a blind bat screaming my life in the dark. I’m asleep but my heart is awake as I’m addicted to joy and write at night a song that clears me of sadness and I run out of air.”

Now this beautiful soul with a great voice is dead because of a war started by barbarians because my people, the Jews, simply chose to live. While Shaul Greenglick is dead we will never ever quit. We will fight and the Jewish people will live. Hamas and our enemies will be eliminated and the Jewish people will live.

We will shed tears because we value life, because these families who are dying fighting, those who are missing family members as hostages, are our family. Our parents, our children, our brothers and sisters. We cry for them. We mourn for them. Yet, we must fight on for them. We will show strength and we will win, as our people have throughout history.

Shaul Greenglick’s father wore his sons uniform today and saluted his fallen son at his funeral. A final salute for our fallen hero. Heartbreaking. May his memory forever be a blessing.

Am Israel Chai. Shaul Greenglick we remember you. We thank you and all of the heroes in the IDF. Am Israel Chai.

Ronn Torossian is an American-Israeli entrepreneur, author and philanthropist.