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Or's answer: Keep on living

Translation by Yehoshua Siskin

It was one of the most deeply moving answers that I ever received to an interview question.

Yesterday I met Or Elharar, the widow of Major Itamar Elharar who was killed from friendly fire last week along with Major Ofek Aharon.

I heard from Or how she met her husband, how they got married at a small Corona wedding in a backyard ("No catering, no wedding hall, but the most important thing, the groom, was there"), and how caring Itamar was ("He made me feel that every minute with me was the most precious thing in the world").

She told me that if she had to live her life again, she would do it exactly the same way, even if she knew she would part from him in this manner ("I felt completely whole each day that we were together, and I would do it all over again").

At the end, I gently asked her what she has to say to N, the soldier who mistakenly shot the two officers. Or paused to reflect and then answered as follows:

"This was an accident, and I think if Itamar would have made a similar mistake, if the situation was reversed, I would have a husband I would simply want to keep on living. If Itamar was the one who had made such an error, what would I want for him? And the answer is that I would want for him the strength to move beyond this. Therefore this is what I say to N and his family: Embrace him and bolster him, be with him to the fullest possible extent, and he will receive the strength to keep on living."

To truly "love your fellow as yourself" is to love the other exactly as you would want to be loved, to behave as you would have the other behave towards you. Yesterday, amidst the most painful circumstances, my own eyes witnessed such love.


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