Remembering Ezra Schwartz hy”d – Growing from the pain

Yesterday was the yahrtzeit (one year commemoration) of the murder of Ezra Schwartz hy”d .

Ezra arrived in Israel as part of a special program  by yeshivat “Ashreinu” for a year of learning in Eretz Yisrael in order to contribute to the Land of Israel. One of the strong motives that motivated Ezra to come to Israel was the abduction and murder of the three boys Gil-Ad, Eyal and Naftali hy”d. Ezra’s was shaken by this event to the bottom of his soul and subsequently came to Israel. Every week the Ashreinu yeshiva organized transportation and brought the boys to Oz veGaon to work the land. Ezra was amongthem and they all connected deeply to the place.

Exactly a year ago, Ezra and his friends from the Ashreinu yeshiva were on a bus on their way to volunteer at Oz veGaon, like every week,  when Arab terrorists arrived, shot at different cars and murdered 3; Ezra Schwartz hy”d, the beloved teacher Yaakov Don hy”d and an Arab driver.

A few events in memory of Ezra h”d were marked at Oz veGaon yesterday (see pictures):
*in the morning the Ashreinu yeshiva headed by Rabbi Yudin came to pray, sing, remember and then rolled up their sleeves to work the land under the guidance of Elyashiv Kimche and Tsuri Botosh.

* In the afternoon , Rocky Brody,   friend of the Schwartzes, organized a beautiful and meaningful ceremony in memory of Ezra hy”d and a dedication of the Oz Ezra Garden. Speakers included family members, friends and the Gush Etsion acting mayor Moshe Savil. Once again, after the speeches, the youth rolled up their sleeves and inaugurated the Oz Ezra garden in Oz veGaon.

May we all be comforted in the building of Eretz Yisrael.