Tragedy strikes Israel as an unusually rough storm hits the country, taking the lives of 10 teenagers.
As the Shabbat and the weekend arrive, all of Israel mourns with the families of the teenagers who tragically died in the Arava desert yesterday.
The Land of Israel is blessed with wonderful beauty and very diverse terrain. From glorious beaches in the west, to majestic mountains in the north; From shining seas in the east, to fruitful plains and spacious deserts in the south. The beauty though, can be deceiving as the tranquility of the wild is often dangerous.
We were painfully reminded of this Thursday when unusual and intense storms hit Israel. Southern Israel was especially hit by heavy rains Wednesday and Thursday, forcing closures at Eilat Airport. Flooding in the Arava region forced the closure of Route 90 up to and including the Dead Sea area.
Ten teenagers, nine girls and a boy from a pre-military academy, were killed after being caught and swept away in a sudden surge in the Tzafit river, west of the southern part of the Dead Sea. They were part of a group of 25 Israeli teenagers who were hiking in Nahal Tzafit Thursday afternoon when a flash flood hit.
Rescue forces, including the Israel Air force, immediately rushed to the scene upon receiving notice of the emergency. The entire country paused and followed the news reports, praying for the youth who were missing. By evening it became clear that none of the missing had survived.
A week after coming together to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the country and share and take pride in its achievements, Israelis come together again, this time to share the pain of the loss of young lives.
Solemn music on the airwaves and sad reflection for many this weekend. I added one of the songs Israelis relate to in times of sadness, with a translation of the first verse.
May we all have a peaceful Sabbath.
“The sand will remember the waves but the foam is remembered by none; Except for those who strolled past with a late night breeze, from whose memory it will never be erased; Everything will return to the depths except the white foam; The night candles dimmed; The friendship, the love, The youth that has suddenly come to its end; The youth that has suddenly come to its end.”
Daniel Seaman is the editor of the English edition of Mida.org Online magazine
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