My Rachel, my love

By Ginette Lando (Thaler)

February 27, 2002 - Rachel Thaler, 16, of Ginot Shomron died of wounds suffered on February 16 when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a pizzeria in the shopping mall in Karnei Shomron in Samaria, bringing the death toll in the attack to three. Her mother writes:

To One and All,

Some thoughts..... And lots of thanks....

The past month has probably been the worst in my life. The non-imaginable happened. Well, the almost non-imaginable.

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By Ginette Lando (Thaler)

February 27, 2002 – Rachel Thaler, 16, of Ginot Shomron died of wounds suffered on February 16 when a suicide bomber blew himself up at a pizzeria in the shopping mall in Karnei Shomron in Samaria, bringing the death toll in the attack to three. Her mother writes:

To One and All,

Some thoughts….. And lots of thanks….

The past month has probably been the worst in my life. The non-imaginable happened. Well, the almost non-imaginable. I lost my 16-year old daughter and almost my 14-year old son in yet another senseless bombing.

And why do I say “almost non-imaginable”? Well, I grew up in the suburbs of London where life seemed very quiet. There were some criminal activities around but nothing drastic.

I made Aliya to originally in 1981 after having spent a year previously on kibbutzim and also several shorter visits to Israel since the age of 15. I guess I kind of fell in love with the country. It was my home, the home of the Jews. That’s how I felt back then, and still do today.

I later went to live in the U.S., Brooklyn, New York to be more precise. And there I learned that the world was not so sweet. The violence that took place on the streets there and throughout the whole country was totally foreign to me. But it hit home when my then husband was robbed one day at gunpoint in the elevator to our apartment building.

Brooklyn was my home for five years, and later moved to Baltimore which, though a nicer place to live than Brooklyn, the violence was still rampant.

And I was scared, to a certain degree, living in the States.

I returned to Israel in 1997 with my children. I had always wanted them to grow up in Israel, believing that a child’s life would be lived to its fullest here. I always believed there was something very special for children here, there was always the feeling that the child of one is like the child of everyone else, loved and cared for, and looked on as a jewel. My children had always talked about living in Eretz Yisroel, as they would say when they were young, and I made it happen in 1997.

Struggles were had, and that first year was probably very hard for Rachel, Leor and Zvi, living in a new country, learning to speak a new language, and going to school with new friends. But the kids of Ginot Shomron and Neve Aliza opened up their arms to my three kids, and with time, they became part of the chevrei (friends).

I discovered Ginot Shomron on a pilot trip. It is situated in the Shomron hills approximately 15 minutes from Kfar Saba, and some of the views around are breathless. It was my dream to live either in the hills or near the sea. And for now, I found the hills. The only hesitation of living here was that to go to work meant a long trip every day to wherever I was able to find work, and I did find work as an English secretary, but it was always at least an hour’s journey in each direction, morning and evening. But my consolation was the fact that I always believed my children to be safe, growing up and living on a Yishuv, away from the usual hubbub of town life.

Back in September 2000, when the recent Intifada started up, my outlook on life began to change. All of a sudden, I would be driving home and after the initial shock of hearing shooting to my side as I would pass by Kalkilya, it became a part of my life. I accepted it the same as I would having to stop at a red light, or sitting in a line of traffic. Then the piguim (the shooting attacks and bombings) became more and more frequent, and the news would reveal the latest family or families torn apart by their individual tragedies of losing a family member. It was still distant, but again it became a part of our daily lives. Tanks then started appearing in the vicinity of Kalkilya and some of the neighboring villages, many soldiers around, things that don’t really fit into the life of a suburban Londoner, yet here it was, and again it was something that I accepted as in any other routine.

The shootings and bombings continued and no longer were they things that happened to other people, it was getting closer and closer to home. It was already close enough in that the victims were family members of friends or neighbors, and even neighbors, themselves, and I began to realize that it would just be a matter of time. And yes, that is when I would start to imagine about how it would feel if it happened to me. All sorts of images would go through my head, but my biggest worry was that it would be me shot dead by some passing Arab, and then my children would be left without a mother, and how would they survive.

But my imagination took the wrong line. It wasn’t me, it was two of my children. Rachel didn’t make it, Leor did, but he suffered pain and experiences that I can’t even fathom.

I will never forget the night of the bombing. It was a bad dream come true. Nothing more, nothing less. I knew Rachel was there, I knew she was hurt, but I couldn’t find her. It seemed like hours and hours, and all I could think of was that she needed me by her, yet I didn’t even know where she was. And what seemed like a short while before I learned which hospital she was in, I discovered that Leor was also there, lying somewhere in an ambulance or hospital, also needing me and I could not be there.

So yes, now, it became a reality. It happened this time not to some family member of a friend, or neighbor, it happened to me, it happened to my children. Our lives have now been changed forever.

The days that followed had no beginnings and no endings. I floated through time and was held up by the endless arms of my friends and neighbors who were there for me, with me, with Rachel and with Leor, as well as those at home who were there for Zvi. I never knew what true support was until this time, this nightmare.

And then Rachel died. Rachel, my only daughter, Rachel, my love, I loved her dearly, still do, with a lot of pain, and always will.

Rachel started out in life as a miracle. She was born after 28 weeks of pregnancy (1.2 kg), she was born on the 28th day of the month, and she was buried on the 28th day of the month. Three times 28. Does that have some kind of meaning? The two other children who died initially, Karen and Nechemia, Rachel now made that number three. Again that number three. Karen’s name in Hebrew, Kuf, Raish, Nun. Kuf-Karen, Raish-Rachel, Nun-Nechemia. People whispered that at the Shiva the first night, not wanting me to hear, but I heard and I insisted they told me what they were whispering. Again, three letters to Karen’s name, the initials of the three children. Yes, again the number three.

So now, this evening, I sit here writing this story, well, not really story but reality, reality in my life and in my children’s lives.

If whoever has made it to the end of the words above, I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart and my soul for all the support and help you have all given to me during this terrible ordeal. People have helped me financially as well, they have donated money to various schools in Rachel’s name for which I am extremely honored. I really have no words to describe what all this has meant to me. Thank you all.

And as I end up my little saga, I would like to find a way to make people realize the importance of the State of Israel within the Green Line as well as over the Green Line, as in the territories, that word that I cannot stand to hear, but that is what most people are familiar with. We cannot let our Arab neighbors/terrorists win, we cannot let them get the better of us, we cannot stop living because of them. We have to go on, to continue and to live to the best of our ability, because if we don’t, then we have given in and given up, and they will have won. And if they have won, then Rachel, Nechemia and Karen died for nothing.

This war, and it is just that, a war against us as a people, us as Jews, and us as a nation, may go on forever, but we must never give up and must never run away. Rachel believed so strongly in all this, and for her, and Karen and Nechemia, we must keep on. And we must make the rest of the world realize that this is not just our fight, it is the fight of every Jew throughout the Universe, both religious and nonreligious, from every background. It is also a fight against terrorism. And today, terrorism is becoming more understood by other nations throughout the world.

Ginette Lando (Thaler)

© Israel My Beloved




The PLO was instituted in 1964 three years before the six day war in June 1967 when Israel, in a war of self-defense, recovered the so-called “West Bank”, now seen and proclaimed by nearly everybody as the quintessence crux of the Middle East problem.
This however shows that the PLO (All Palestine needs to be liberated) was not formed to erect a Palestinian state on the ‘so called’ West Bank but was instituted to replace all of Israel with a Muslim Palestinian State.

A Word From Zion

The New Testament Basis for the Restoration of Israel

Jesus was asked by His disciples whether He would restore the kingdom to Israel at that time, to which He replied:
Therefore, when they had come together, they asked Him, saying, “Lord, will You at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” And He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has put in His own authority.