Ezra Schwartz: Someone’s Son, Someone’s Brother, Someone’s Childhood Friend

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It is too difficult to write tonight. I will write tomorrow, perhaps, or maybe Saturday night, but right now, my heart hurts. A beloved teacher, who taught four of my children was murdered by terrorists tonight, and the son of my best friend’s childhood friend was also murdered tonight.

It is hard to breathe. It is hard to be.

And I am thinking, “I love you God, but why did you make these terrible people? Why must they be in our land, living among us, KILLING US? Why?”



I know there is a bigger picture. And I know I will tough this out and face it and come out stronger. I know my community will come together in this tragedy and be kinder and more loving to each other.

But right now, the words aren’t really there. What I have for you instead, is a photo. It’s a collage of photos, actually, and it was shared by Eitan Hyman, who is like family to me. Because that is what happens when you leave your birthplace and come to live in Israel, people from all over the world, who would otherwise never know each other, become each others’ family, because our true family is left behind in the countries and cities where we were born.

Here is what Eitan shared tonight, just before he left with his father to keep watch over his friend’s body and recite psalms overnight. He’s just a boy, Eitan. A boy of 18. He should not have had to deal with this.

No one should.

Ezra

With great sorrow I’d like to inform you as some of you might know that this afterrnoon my childhood friend Ezra Schwartz was shot and killed by terrorists as he gave out food to the soldiers in gush etzion. Ezra was a close friend of mine for many years. He came to Israel during a year after high School and was murdered. My deepest condolences to his family and friends. You will always be missed my friend. May his memory be for a blessing.ה’ יקום דמו

בצער רב אני מודיע כפי שחלקכם יודעים על פטירתו של חבר ילדות היקר שלי יחיאל “עזרא” שוורץ שנרצח היום בפיגוע ירי בגוש עציון כאשר הוא חילק אוכל לחיילים. עזרא היה חבר קרוב שלי להרבה שנים והיה בן אדם טוב. הוא הגיע לארץ ישראל לשנה אחרי תיכון. הוא נורה למוות היום בידי מחבלים. עזרא נרצח כאשר עסק בחסד ומצוות. ליבי יוצא למשפחה ולכל מי שהכיר אותו. זכרנו לברכה וה’ יקום דמו. נתגעגע אליך תמיד חבר.

May God avenge his blood.

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A third-generation-born Pittsburgher on her mother’s mother’s side, Varda moved to Israel 36 years ago and is a crazy political animal who spams people with right wing political articles on Facebook in between raising her 12 children and writing about education as the communications writer at Kars for Kids a Guidestar gold medal charity.