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Monday, June 20, 2005

I thought you should know...

... that yesterday morning a young man woke up from his dreams. 

At 25 years old,  Avi Karouchi's whole life of hopes and dreams stretched out in front of him as far as his imagination could see. 

But yesterday he arose and set his dreams aside.  He didn't put on slacks and a shirt in preparation for another day at work.  Instead, he pulled on his army uniform for another day of his annual reserve duty in the IDF.

Probably as he got dressed his thoughts drifted to his fiance, a pretty young woman who would finally become his wife in two months time.   He might have thought about his family... his father, his mother ... or his siblings. 

Or maybe, being the responsible sort and a leader, he was focused on the long day ahead of him, and his responsibilities to his reserve unit.

Surprisingly, Avi Karouchi's day got progressively easier as the hours passed away.

As much as he probably longed to finish his reserve duty and return to his home city of Beer Sheva, I doubt that he considered the possibility that in a few short hours he would be drifting peacefully through the sky in an army helicopter towards a hospital within walking distance of his family and friends as they went about their busy day.

The scratchy uniform he had donned, and the weight of his equipment no longer bothered him.  The heat of the desert sun miraculously did nothing to keep his young body from cooling, and all of the responsibilities flew away with the wind as the helicopter in which he floated made its way through the desert sky.

When he got dressed yesterday I doubt he imagined medics frantically cutting his blood-soaked uniform from his broken body.  Who thinks about such things?

I'm certain that if he woke for a moment during the flight, he didn't realize that he had flown directly over my head as the pilots circled to land into the wind.  After all, why would he think of me... I didn't even know his name until an hour or two after he had landed at the hospital up the street.  I'm just a nameless face he might have passed once or twice on the street here in Beer Sheva.

While he was rolled on his stretcher into Soroka hospital, I doubt he was wondering how his loved one's would react at finding somber officers and social workers standing at attention on their doorsteps in a few hour's time.  Nobody thinks about these things... until the door opens and there they are.

Being 25 years old, Avi Karouchi was probably not accustomed to going to bed early in the evening.  And it had probably been years since he had been properly tucked into bed.  So if he was somehow aware of being laid tenderly to rest at the childish hour of 8:00PM, he may have experienced a moment of confusion. 

He had very likely seen this particular sun rise as he slipped into his uniform... how could he already be going to sleep before it set? 

Through their grief, his parents probably didn't stop to consider the irony of all the times this skinny little boy in his soft pajamas had fought against the tyranny of bedtimes.  How odd for him to go down so quietly this time... at 8:00PM! 

He woke up yesterday and put on the uniform of a sovereign nation and patrolled that nation's borders (and patiently bore the scorn of the entire world for doing so).  Inside those borders lay a system of roads and highways (such that they are), an economy (such that it is), an infrastructure of flowing electricity and water (such that it is), and a rich culture of education and scholarship (such that it is).

If anyone bothered to ask the terrorist groups who have been clamoring to take credit for snuffing out Avi Karouchi's dreams what their plans are for building roads and highways... creating power plants or desalinization stations... what monetary system they envision... what system of medical care they want for their people... or what style of education they most prefer...  they would have no answer other than to say that 'all those things will magically appear once this cancer called the Zionist Entity is excised from the otherwise healthy entity called Palestine'. 

These people don't have dreams of their own... they live only to destroy the dreams of others, and to celebrate each time they succeed. 

Avi Karouchi was full of dreams and plans, but more importantly he was the receptacle of other people's dreams and plans.  All that ended yesterday.

I thought you should know that yesterday a young man woke up from his dreams, and went back to sleep... never to dream again.  Karouchi_idf

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Note:  All images are the property of the sources listed.  To view these and other images you may visit the website of my neighbor Jacob Richman.  Not advisable for children.

Posted by David Bogner on June 20, 2005 | Permalink


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» A Tribute to Dreams from Somewhere on A1A...
... More dreams destroyed... More tears shed. Avi Karouchi... we grieve for you.... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 20, 2005 11:58:55 PM

» Verbs for Israel from Soccer Dad
It's Almost Supernatural condemns. Ocean guy asks. Treppenwitz mourns. Fundamentally Freund mocks. Mere Rhetoric doubts. Secular Blasphemy despairs. Boker Tov Boulder wonders. Clarity and Resolve mistrusts. The Jewish View begins.... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 21, 2005 9:30:59 AM

» Verbs for Israel from Israpundit
It's Almost Supernatural condemns. Ocean Guy asks. Treppenwitz mourns. Fundamentally Freund mocks. Mere Rhetoric doubts. Secular Blasphemy despairs. Boker Tov Boulder wonders. Clarity and Resolve mistrusts. The Jewish View begins. Crossposted on Israpu... [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 21, 2005 9:33:13 AM

» It's Not Too Late... from Crossing the Rubicon2
...to read the latest edition of Haveil Havalim, the blogging carnival on issues relating to Jews and Israel, at [Read More]

Tracked on Jun 28, 2005 11:04:56 PM


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Poignant. I’ll never ever understand the cruel and primitive mentality behind these acts.

Posted by: Scott#1 | Jun 20, 2005 2:29:21 PM

Terrorism is cowardice.

Posted by: mary | Jun 20, 2005 3:01:11 PM

My sincere condolences to the bereaved.

David, what will stop all this bloodshed? Can’t WE have complete annihilation of this Palestinian militants even at the cost of international relations?

Posted by: kakarizz | Jun 20, 2005 3:02:30 PM

Scott#1... I have yet to meet anyone who does understand it. I would settle for even a small portion of the world trying to understand the magnitude of the tragedy in each loss of precious life. When a society that treasures life above all else is under attack from a society that celebrates and fetishises death, the normal rules of engagement have to be set aside.

Mary... That doesn't really matter if the cowards end up winning.

Kakarizz... I have to admit that after all the years that the Palestinians have been accusing us of ethnic cleansing and genocide (and the world has been buyinig the story without a shred of proof), it is sorely tempting at a time like this to say 'oh what the f*ck... if the world is going to condemn us for it we may as well be guilty of it and be done with it already!'. But you and I both know that Israel can never engage in genocide (even if there were some theoretical way of identifying the 'good Palestinians' from the 'bad Palestinians') after what we went through in Europe.

Posted by: David | Jun 20, 2005 3:47:10 PM

Baruch Dayan HaEmes.

i read about him on arutz-7 yesterday or the day before that. whenever i read that a jew was killed, even one, im just like, eh crap, not again, and get in a bad mood few a little bit. that was necassarily beautiful Mr B.

Posted by: Tonny | Jun 20, 2005 3:48:37 PM

You did a fine job of painting a picture about something in which words are inadequate. There is no good way to express the myriad thoughts and feelings about something like this. I only hope that his family can find some solace and some peace, but I don't know what to offer them to provide it other than some of the same tired platitudes we always say.

Posted by: Jack | Jun 20, 2005 4:26:46 PM


Posted by: lisa | Jun 20, 2005 4:58:23 PM

Your words leave me speechless. You found each and every word that needed to be said, and in the perfect order.

Posted by: AbbaGav | Jun 20, 2005 5:03:28 PM

You have done a beautiful job on this post. You always manage to convey things so eloquently. Thank you for giving us the human element of the atrocities that go on in our homeland. May H-shem comfort the Karouchi family.

Posted by: Essie | Jun 20, 2005 6:33:50 PM

Beautifully written, David. So very heartbreaking.

Posted by: Lioness | Jun 20, 2005 6:37:11 PM

You write, He woke up yesterday and put on the uniform of a sovereign nation and patrolled that nation's borders (and patiently bore the scorn of the entire world for doing so). For what it's worth, I'm a Canadian, and I'm not a Jew, and I have nothing but respect for Avi and his fellow reservists.

Your account brings the tragedy home by focussing on a specific individual instead of a nameless, faceless, casualty count.

I particularly appreciate the point that the terrorists ("these people") don't have dreams of their own... they live only to destroy the dreams of others, and to celebrate each time they succeed. That's why I respect Avi and his fellow reservists. They have a dream, and they're doing what's necessary (however dangerous) to make that dream a reality.

May the Lord cause the dream to prosper.

Posted by: Q | Jun 20, 2005 7:00:43 PM

Thank you for this. Every time this happens, I want to write about it but can't find the words. You found the words and used them beautifully. Again - thank you.

Posted by: AmyS | Jun 20, 2005 7:03:59 PM

How terribly sad. The way you framed the story of Avi's life and duty was beautiful.

Thank you for reminding us that each loss endured is not that of a nameless face. Each victim lived a life -- with hopes, dreams, and aspirations that will never be fulfilled and loved ones that will have a hole in their heart.

May Avi's memory be a blessing.

Posted by: Pesha | Jun 20, 2005 7:28:22 PM

The above was me (Stacey). Pesha is my Jewish name.

Posted by: Stacey | Jun 20, 2005 7:30:17 PM

What a mind blowing post. It really puts things in perfect perspective. I can only pray to G-d every day that He put a stop to all this madness.

Posted by: Jewish Blogmiester | Jun 20, 2005 8:26:04 PM

But you and I both know that Israel can never engage in genocide (even if there were some theoretical way of identifying the 'good Palestinians' from the 'bad Palestinians') after what we went through in Europe.

David, do you really mean it the way you put it there? I hope not. We should know best, after all, that genocide is devil's work, or call it Hamman, if you want. With blood on its hands, Israel will be as untrustworthy as the terrorists themselves.

I am sitting here, a good five flight hours from you. And each time I read the sad news, I feel the deep disappointment. No, they haven't learned. They did it again. They can't stop listening to the lies they're being told, they don't reflect but allow their youngest to let hate creep into their little hearts. Sh*it, sh*it, sh*it.

I am sitting here, a good five flight hours from you. And each time I watch a docu about Israeli military on tv, I feel respect for those who serve with their mind switched on. Who those being responsible and human. I feel deep, deep disappointment, however, for those among the border soldiers who have the guts to stand in front of the cameras and proudly proclaim: "I don't care what my boss says, let them hear it. Here, there, over there, these are the monkeys, the dogs, the beasts. We here, we are the good. We are humans. Israel! I tell you, we Jews are the best. Are you filming me? Jews are the best!!" and then go on and let an old man stand in the rain for hours.

I'm not making this up, I saw it the other night on a serious tv docu channel here. It broke my heart.

It's things like these that won't connect in my brains. There is no black and white. No them and us. No we, the good, them, the bad. And I am very afraid that this small, small country will eat itself up one day with all peoples it is hosting.

Posted by: mademoiselle a. | Jun 20, 2005 8:43:21 PM

Tonny... The problem is that most of us don't even get into a bad mood anymore. Today's post happened because I decided to take 30 seconds and find out about the soldier who was killed. I don't know if my heart can stand the ache of doing this every time... but I would strongly encourage such a search to anyone who feels they are becoming numb to the losses.

Jack... Thank you.

Lisa... Not for lack of trying.

AbbaGav... Now if only I weren't preaching to the choir.

Essie... There is always a human element to tragedy. They only way one can avoid that is to watch the BBC or CNN.

Lioness... I really don't know how parents can bury a child and continue living. I don't know how it is possible to recover from that.

Q... That was exactly my point. None of the thousands who have been killed by terrorists have been nameless or faceless. I didn't know this boy but it took me less than a minute to find out enough to understand the enormity of his loss. I hope I have helped a few other people do the same.

AmyS... Like I said before, I think it would kill me to pick this kind of scab each time there is a tragedy. but when I feel myself going 'oh well, another one', I know it's time to force the wound open again.


Stacey... I knew that. :-)

Jewish Blogmiester... I wouldn't wait for Him to step in (although it never hurts to hope).

mademoiselle a. ... I am surprised at you for taking anything from a 'documentary' about the IDF. Unless it was made by the IDF itself it is going to contain carefully chosen scenes like the ones you described. The IDF is made up of kids. Good kids, smart kids, not so good kids and all the rest. So called documentaries are by definition carefully chosen clips that tell the story the way the producer and director want it to be told. The question such a documentary doesn't want the viewer to ask is "what made the long wait at checkpoints necessary?" They don't show the hundreds upon hundreds of old men, young boys, "pregnant" women and any other sympathetic group that have been apprehended trying to smuggle explosives through checkpoints so they can be used to snuff out more Jewish lives. Is it a shame that an old man is forced to wait in the rain for hours? Yes. Is it a tragedy? no. There's an important difference.

Posted by: David | Jun 20, 2005 9:45:21 PM

"These people don't have dreams of their own... they live only to destroy the dreams of others, and to celebrate each time they succeed."

That's it exactly. I have never seen it put any better. Spot on.

Thank you, once again, for bringing an important story to our attention in your own beautiful, eloquent way. I admit I heard about this poor soldier's murder but did not give the story the attention it deserved. Thank you for being "in our face" and MAKING us pay attention. As I type this through my tears, I can only pray that our enemy reads your blog. I doubt it, but if it makes just one Jew-hater stop and think...

DO you get any readers from the Arab world? I'd be interested in knowing.

Posted by: a | Jun 20, 2005 11:26:34 PM

I used to simply wish for peace.

As I became more conservative, I began to wish for victory, realizing that a durable peace is created not by a treaty but by the enemy's loss of the will to fight.

As I became more religious and studied Jewish history, I realized that homicidal Jew-hatred is as old as Judaism, and I began not to know what victory would look like: Ruling over Arabs forever? Another Arab state arming against Israel? Forced transfer of populations?

I now don't even know what to wish for. For now, I wish for Israel's safety, the Bogners' happiness, and the Almighty's comfort for the bereaved.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Jun 20, 2005 11:45:34 PM

So beautifully said...

Posted by: oceanguy | Jun 20, 2005 11:56:45 PM

Poignant beyond words, David. You are masterful in how you put a human face on what is actually happening in Israel/Palestine.

May Avi rest in peace, in agony no more, and may his family find the comfort they seek.

Posted by: Lachlan | Jun 21, 2005 4:09:49 AM

What a heartbreaking post. My sincere condolescences to the bereaved...

"When you laugh, the whole world laughs with you.
When you weep, you weep alone."

Posted by: Irina | Jun 21, 2005 4:22:31 AM

a... Thank you. Yes, once in a while I get e-mail from a young man at NYU who identifies himself as a Muslim originally from Lebanon. I have encouraged him to participate in the comments and voice his own opinions where others can see them (he is actually politically pretty much in line with most Labor party philosophy), but so far he has not taken me up on it.

Doctor Bean... Amen to all three.

OceanGuy... Thanks. I wish I didn't have to remind myself to care this way.

Lachlan... Thank you for the compliment. Coming from you, it is high praise indeed. However, I should point out that I can only express my thoughts about what goes on in Israel. I don't know where Palestine is... or if it will ever exist. That is almost entirely up to the Arabs. For now, I can only say with certainty that I won't allow Israel to be replaced by Palestine, and that seems to be the current desire of the people on the other side of this conflict.

Irena... I wish the world would laugh with Israel once in a while. Even our celebrations and achievements seem to fall on deaf ears. what can you do?

Posted by: David | Jun 21, 2005 1:21:30 PM

How terribly sad - I can't even imagine the horror his parents are going through now, the pain his sister and brother will live with the rest of their lives. What a nightmare.

Posted by: Mirty | Jun 21, 2005 2:18:23 PM

we needed to see those pictures and read those comments.
may g-d bless his father mother sisters and brother.
may the l-rd give strength to his people
may the l-rd bless his people with peace.

Posted by: richard | Jun 21, 2005 7:33:16 PM

"Is it a shame that an old man is forced to wait in the rain for hours? Yes. Is it a tragedy? no. There's an important difference."

For this I read you, for saying what I so often want to and cannot, especially now. When I lived in israel I'dn watch footage of the bombings on teh Israeli telly, and then watch CNN and BBC till I couldn't stand it anymore. The footage culling, what they choose to show the world, is quite deliberate and w a very specific agenda. I once saw the news abt the two Israeli boys (abt 10 years old i think) who were stoned to death in a settlemet. Portuguese newspapers? "Two settlers were killed yesterday". One doesn't have to lie in order to be deceitful.

And that reminds me I have been delaying updating my sidebar for too many weeks now bcs it's so bothersome but now my bum was kicked into action bcs you'll be just one click away, and you, David, have become pretty much a public service. One can only hope.

Posted by: Lioness | Jun 21, 2005 8:02:22 PM

Mirty... Having been to more than a few funerals lately where parents have buried children, I honestly don't know how the human heart can survive such pain. It is the most unbearable thing in the world to watch... so how much more horrible must it be to live through it?!

Richard... As I said earlier, I don't think it would be healthy to delve so deeply into every tragedy. But if ever you feel that you are losing the ability to care about each individual life... each human being that is killed, then you will know it is time to look more closely and feel the tears again.

Lioness... If I'm a public service then perhaps I should become unreliable and surly... such is the Israeli brand of public service. :-) Seriously, it means a great deal to me that you follow along so closely. I know I am long-winded. I know I often use a few paragraphs where a word or two would suffice. But I often don't know exactly what I'm trying to say until all the words are out there on the screen... like a big puzzle that has just been spilled out of the box. I will sometimes spend a few minutes arranging the words so that they will make some sense to someone else, but I don't have the time or patience to figure out which ones are really unnecessary.

Posted by: David | Jun 21, 2005 9:18:38 PM

David, don't sweat it. Your posts are just fine as they are.

Posted by: Rahel | Jun 21, 2005 10:48:20 PM

I've come back to this a couple times, to read it and let it sink in. David, you did an excellent job at putting a real, human face on something that doesn't reported as such via the outlets I read.

We - all humanity - have committed violent acts against each other for thousands of years. Given all the misery it causes, we still have not found a peaceful way out. That's a sad reality (my opinion); part of human nature, maybe.

It must be hope that keeps us going. Hope that we will see peace, that our children will have peace, and so on.

Posted by: Steve Bogner | Jun 22, 2005 2:06:19 PM

Wow ... such a heartbreaking post and devastating pictures.
Sometimes we just want to stick our heads in the sand and ignore what is happening around us. Thank you for not allowing us to become oblivious and for reminding us that Avi was not a name or statistic, but a son, brother, and fiance with dreams of his own.

Posted by: Simi | Jun 22, 2005 6:31:54 PM

ive been rereading alex singers journal and notes, and its so hard to imagine what life in the idf is like. not much older than me he was...

thank you for your tributes, you can always put in words what is so hard to express

Posted by: wildroze | Jun 22, 2005 8:31:17 PM

Steve... Unfortunately, violence does have a place in an imperfect world. You and I almost certainly disagree on the issue of 'turning the other cheek', but our prayers for peace are in perfect agreement.

Simi... It's important to be reminded sometimes.

Wildroze... Just don't let your mother read posts like this or she will never let you come! :-)

Posted by: David | Jun 23, 2005 10:49:12 AM

This post is included in the latest Hevel Hevalim!


Posted by: muse | Jun 27, 2005 7:29:14 AM

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