More than a thousand families of terror victims in Israel will be receiving a pre-Rosh Hashanah visit this week, courtesy of Chabad in Israel’s Terror Victims Division. Bearing a High Holiday gift package and often an invitation for a holiday meal, Chabad representatives bring with them an important message: You are not forgotten.
“For families struck by the terror wave in Israel over the last few years, the nightmare does not end when the cameras leave,” says one organizer. “Some families are living with the reality of illness and handicap, others with the incredible pain of losing a loved one. When the holidays come around, it’s very difficult to celebrate.” Chabad’s Pre-Rosh Hashanah visits are conducted by representatives in some 120 cities and town across the country, in cooperation with hundreds of Chabad centers.
Yosef Waxman of Chadera was one of several people visited by Rabbi Shlomo Schwartz, Chabad representative to his city. Waxman’s wife Miriam was killed instantly by a suicide bomber in the Sharon Mall in Netanya four years ago. In addition to the crushing loss of his life’s partner, Yosef lost the use of one eye and is still in the midst of a long recovery process.
“The High Holidays are a particularly painful time for him,” says Schwartz. The visit and gift package are small gestures in the face of his loss, conceded Schwartz but they are meaningful ways of letting Yosef know that others remember him as he works through his personal grief and sorrow along the road to healing.