This summer, like the past 9 summers, I am the Susya pool lifeguard. Everyday my day starts at 6:30 when I greet swimmers; and continues throughout the day. Our summers here in Har Hevron are slow and easy. Not much goes on. That is a blessing.
In the summer of 2017, right at the very start of summer, which for families with children means the day AFTER the last day of school, there was a terrible tragedy in nearby Kiryat Arba. Some of you may remember, a beautiful 8th grade girl was stabbed to death in her bed.
The day before, the 8th grade class of girls was at the pool. Dancing, tanning, enjoying their last day of Junior High together, before going off to high school. Here in our area, high schoolers go away to school and sleep there. The kids really split up, and grow up fast. All-of-a-sudden, 14 year olds are living in a dorm. They hitchhike. They only come home for Shabbat. They really aren’t kids anymore!
This week, again, the 8th grade girls had their end-of-the-year party at the pool. Their teachers played songs, and they danced, obviously, a prepared performance they had done for the parents the night before in the gym.
It was a good thing I was wearing sunglasses, because tears were bursting from my eyes. They were so happy. They were so full of life.
Just that morning, there was a new swimmer during the early hours for the men. He was the father of the young girl who was stabbed. I recognized him immediately, as I had been to his home with a group, had bought wine, and pointed out the house to people whenever bringing them to Kiryat Arba for a tour. As the story goes, the murderer was crouching in the vineyards on that morning, watching for the family to leave the house. And when the first responders were called, that was the first place they went searching – the vineyards. Turns out, the killer was in the girl’s bedroom, hiding in a closet.
I am stunned everyday at our life here. Highs and Lows. And we continue on. Our emergency first responders see it all. Firsthand. And they never give up.
That’s why I’m sticking with this group, and I urge all of you to do that same. Continue your support. Tell your friends and family to add our charity to their lists. We need your help. Things aren’t quieting down here any time soon….the “Trump Plan” is causing upheaval and restlessness. Stick with us.