As the sun sets this evening, Friday, here in Jerusalem, we will be marking the sixth yahrzeit of the death of our daughter Malka Chana z"l. The date is the twentieth day of the month of Av, and this year that date falls on the Sabbath.
Jewish tradition focuses much more attention on life than on death. One of the ways we see this is in how the upbeat and pleasant nature of the Sabbath prevails over the well-defined practices associated with mourning and grief. There are very few public, outward manifestations of grief on Sabbath. So strong is this inclination that apart from the saying of the very brief Kaddish memorial prayer, the anniversary (which is what the Yiddish word yahrzeit refers to) is hardly noticed.
Hardly noticed, that is, by outsiders. For us, the family, the day is full of memories, pain and regret.
The public remembering of Malki's life will take place on Sunday late afternoon, deferred in accordance with tradition to a time other than the Sabbath.
At 6pm this Sunday, 5th August, at Jerusalem's Mt Tamir Cemetery, the families and friends of two girls, our daughter Malki Roth and her friend Michal Raziel will gather at the two side-by-side graves for a simple ceremony of remembrance, psalms and prayer.
Even if Malki's 15 years of life were personally unknown to you, even if her death was just another news report among many, please take a moment to read about our daughter and the things we try to do in her memory. You might start here.
We get a steady stream of hate mail to this blog - ugly, ignorant and boorish. (Everyone who writes in defence of Israel knows the experience.) We sometimes fantasize about what it would be like to take some of those know-nuttin' thuggish writers and walk them through the activities of the Malki Foundation and let them see how we work hard to help families who are caring for a child with serious special needs irrespective of whether they're Jewish, Moslem, Christian, Druze or anything else.
But we know it's not going to happen.
This is why it's so important for us to invite the good people - like you - to please visit the Foundation's website yourself and learn about our daughter's goodness, innocence, victimhood. Malki was not a special victim. Hundreds of children have died as deliberate victims of Palestinian Arabs on a mission from their god and his barbaric servants. But while Malki was like so many other innocents whose beautiful lives were stolen from us, this does not mean those who knew and loved her are content to let her fade away as just another statistic.
The Malki Foundation's work is entirely based on money provided by friends and supporters, and it's very well and carefully spent. If you have a few minutes, please start on this page, and if it makes sense to you then please become a supporter and please pass the message along.
Yehi zichra baruch. May the remembrance of Malki and her good deeds serve as a blessing. May her life, the life of her friend Michal and the lives of the hundreds of other innocent victims of the Arafat War never be lost in oblivion or in the pages of statistics.