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Friday, December 08, 2006

Photo Friday (vol. LXXXV) [1 year later edition]

A while back I wrote a post called 'truncated' in which I talked about a husband / father from my part of the country named Yossi Shok Z"L who was gunned down just before Hanukkah while driving not far from his home.

In that post, I published a few photos showing the stone marker that had been erected at the site where he had been murdered, and two olive trees that had been planted in his memory on either side of the monument... but which had been cut down by Arab vandals.

I pass this monument and the two small trees that kept it company nearly every day on my way to and from work... and I probably wouldn't have bothered to mention them here except for the troubling fact that not long after the memorial had been erected along the side of the road, some local Arabs took it upon themselves to deface the stone marker and to cut down the trees.  If you didn't see the post and pictures I encourage you to do so.

Since then, there have been several additional incidents at the site.  Swastikas and Arabic curses were spray painted on the stone, and a fire was set agsaint the monument so as to blacken it.

Each time an act of vandalism ocurred, friends and/or family of the murdered man came to try and scrub away the paint... the soot... the hate.

Here are a few pictures I took of the monument yesterday morning. 

In this first one you can see the faint remains of the soot from the fire:


Here is the stump of one of the two trees.  It isn't clear if it will survive the winter, but a couple of tiny sprouts about two thirds of the way down the stump give reason for hope.


But by far the most encouraging (and symbolic) sign is the second tree which, after having been cut down by vandals, has sprouted new brnaches and leaves quite defiantly:


I decided to take and post these pictures this week because it is the anniversary of Yossi Shok's Z"L murder (according to the Hebrew calendar).  He was killed by terrorists for the simple crime of DWJ (Driving While Jewish).  He was 33 years old.  He left behind a wife and five children, aged 9, 7, 5, 4, and one month. 

Each morning when I drive past this spot I think the 'there but for the grace of G-d...' thought, and drive on.  But many imges linger on.  In my mind's eye I still see the photo of Yossi that was in the papers for a week or two after the shooting:


I see the news photo of the medics and rescue crews trying deperately to save him at the site where the momument now stands:


And perhaps the most difficult image to forget was that of the 'Zaka' volunteer 'cleaning' the interior of Yossi's car of blood and tissue so that they could be buried with him according to Jewish law:


But I now take small comfort in a new image that greets me each morning as I pass by... and which peeks at me in the periphery of my headlight beams as I return each evening.  It is the symbolic promise of the small olive tree that refuses to die.

May the Memory of a young Jewish father named Yossi Shok be a blessing forever...  may his children grow tall and strong... and may they and their mother find comfort beneath the shade of this tree.


Shabbat Shalom.

P.S. Dont forget to vote.

The 2006 Weblog Awards


Posted by David Bogner on December 8, 2006 | Permalink


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Hope springs eternal. Have a good Shabbos.

Posted by: Jack | Dec 8, 2006 11:18:31 AM

God bless you for this post and for all the others through the years. God bless you for remebering and for writing about Yosi.Have voted today and will vote daily. So should all of you readers of Treppenvitz. Shabbat Shalom

Posted by: savta yaffa | Dec 8, 2006 1:05:55 PM

Beautiful post, David. May your posts be a kiddush Hashem for all of the new people reading here (from the Weblog awards).

Posted by: westbankmama | Dec 8, 2006 1:06:09 PM

David, thanks for posting this; it's a reminder of just how precious and valuable life is. And, it's a testament to the strength and hope of friends & family.

Posted by: Steve Bogner | Dec 8, 2006 3:40:53 PM

Thank you for posts like this.

Posted by: Alice | Dec 8, 2006 4:08:06 PM

Beautiful post. We must never forget. Shabbat Shalom.

Posted by: Essie | Dec 8, 2006 4:14:30 PM

May there be a time when the trees and the Jews are safe from our enemies. Shabbat shalom.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Dec 8, 2006 4:16:53 PM

A year later, it still brings a lump to my throat.

Posted by: val | Dec 8, 2006 6:29:58 PM

A year later, it still brings a lump to my throat.

Posted by: val | Dec 8, 2006 6:30:06 PM

G-d bless Israel and the Jewish people. G-d curse, or at the very least, deter, their enemies. Mr. Shok (Z"L) is a microcosm for what they would like to do to us all. Hideously grotesque, but true.

Posted by: david | Dec 8, 2006 8:18:45 PM

A touching follow-up to a beautiful post.

It's sad, that there are people out there who are not satisfied with merely murdering Jews, but who also feel the need to desecrate gravesites. It says a lot about their culture - or lack thereof.

But G-d sees everything.

Posted by: Elisson | Dec 8, 2006 9:09:16 PM

May hope and growth triumph over hatred and destruction.

Posted by: Irina | Dec 8, 2006 10:41:50 PM

May the tree and Yossi's spirit be a blessing to all.

Posted by: christopher | Dec 9, 2006 9:29:11 AM

bless you for remembering and for caring...that will always be the difference between 'us' and 'them'...a sweet shavuah tov...still voting yahoooooo

Posted by: marallyn | Dec 10, 2006 10:07:15 AM

Thanks, Bogner. You've got my vote.

Posted by: rutimizrachi | Dec 10, 2006 11:14:38 AM

Trepp, beautiful post. Your words and pictures, both speak a thousand words. (of course I voted for you!)

Posted by: cruisin-mom | Dec 10, 2006 5:10:27 PM

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