When the text message was sent out I was already in Jerusalem in a neighbor’s car. We were stuck in traffic and for some reason I thought the message was about our traffic jam. It was not. Instead it informed us that Tapuach Junction was closed for security reasons. What could be the reason? We did not have a lot of time to wonder. A second message informed us that a Jew had been stabbed to death there.
As always, after hearing of a terror attack, my eyes filled with tears and my heart beat rapidly. I did a mental checklist of my family members and took out my cell phone. My oldest son told me that he and all of our family were okay. For that I was thankful but still I was full of dread. How long would it be until the name of the murdered victim was announced? When would we know whose lives had been turned upside down?
It is at Tapuach Junction that the highway between Tel Aviv and the Jordan Valley and the road from Jerusalem to Shechem intersect. There is heavy traffic there, both Jewish and Arab, for pedestrians, cars, trucks, and buses. I pass by there whenever I visit two of my children. I have stood there waiting for a ride. One time, standing there alone, a carful of Arab teenagers drove by and made catcalls, but I did not feel threatened. At that time there was a whole unit of soldiers on duty. Last year the army camp was dismantled in a goodwill gesture. Since then there has been one lone soldier on duty in the pill box and sometimes a handful of border policeman. In January a seventeen-year-old boy was stabbed there and, thankfully, recovered. As these thoughts ran through my mind I wondered how old this new victim is.
My cell phone rang and was my husband with answers to some of the questions. The victim was Evyatar Borovsky, my oldest son’s neighbor. Thirty-one years old, he is, or was, married, the father of five, an actor who enjoyed working with the youth. Now he is another in the long list of Jews who have been murdered by anti-Semitism.
Although I did not know him it still hurts. It hurts me to see those I love, who did know him, in pain. It hurts me to know that my six-year-old grandson, a schoolmate of Evyatar’s oldest, seven-year-old son, now knows that a father can be taken away in the blink of an eye. Most of all, it hurts me that already, the day after Evyatar’s murder, he had began disappearing from the country’s consciousness. Is this because he was only one person? Perhaps there is a feeling of national guilt because the army camp at his murder site was dismantled.
Gershon Mesika, head of the regional council, has a response to that guilt. He moved his office from a comfortable, air-conditioned building to a trailer near Tapuach Junction. It is on government land and he has called on the Prime Minister and Defense Minister to authorize the site for a legal settlement in Evyatar's memory. I pray it will be successful. I pray that Evyatar will be the last of our national sacrifices. And I pray that Tzofia, Evyarar’s widow, will find comfort among the mourners of Zion and be given the strength to raise her five fatherless children.
H”YD: HaShem should avenge his blood