Three years have passed since Jews around the world were united in prayer and tears following the kidnapping and brutal murder of Gilad She’ar, Naftali Frankel, and Eyal Yifrach.
Ten months after their brutal murder, Israeli police officers presented Gilad She’ar’s mother with an unexpected gift — Gilad’s diary, which had been miraculously discovered within the burnt wreckage of the kidnappers’ car. “Hours after the police detectives left, I couldn’t stop shaking,” Gilad’s mother, Bat-Galim, recalls.
In this red spiral notebook, several months before his murder, Gilad wrote:
Last Monday I was the prayer-leader in yeshiva for Shacharit and Mincha. Before praying, I prepared myself to serve as a messenger, that the prayers would pass from the congregation to HaKadosh Baruch Hu through me. This was an empowering and special experience. I was very moved while praying. I tried to focus and purify my prayer and I felt amazing.
Now I pray that many more of my prayers will be like that. Because right after I lead prayers, I fall. I come late to prayers, and sometimes I miss.
But today, I decided that I am going to stop falling. I am going to stop falling with sins, falling with despair, I’m not going to let this have power over me. I hope to succeed. With the help of HaKadosh Baruch Hu.”
Another day Gilad wrote:
There is something special about me!
Finally, I feel that I have found something strong within me. Life force. That’s what I call it. I feel that I have a great force of vitality within me.
This expresses itself with great happiness which I try to experience (I wasn’t given this beautiful name, Gil-Ad [literally “Eternal Joy”], for nothing).
This expresses itself with the strong love that I feel, for family, for friends. I have infinite power for love which desires good for my loved ones and those close to me. Which wants to be close to them. And that makes me happy.”
Gilad’s profound reflections remind me what true soul-searching looks like. They remind me, as well, of the infinite, Divine potential of a child’s soul.