Speaking at last year’s Summer Camp Gala evening the four Shaer sisters Maor, Tahal, Hallel and Meitar, whose brother Gilad was kidnapped and murdered along with Naftali Fraenkel and Eya Yifrach in 2014, revealed how their lives were impacted with his murder.
Maor was four years old when her brother Gilad was kidnapped and murdered. “I mostly remember that when he was home he would come and pick me up from kindergarten and lift me up and put me on his shoulders. I miss him the most when I feel sad because I would always tell him when I was sad. He would make me happy and make me laugh and tell me stories.”
Tahal was 14 years old. “For two years after the attack I felt that nothing was self-evident. I could not find myself, I was really lost and could not find a reason to get up in the morning. I was supposed to sit in class, meet new friends, but it just did not interest me. I wanted to succeed but I failed, and slowly these failures knocked me down. At some point I realized that my success depended on me, and that I had to slowly start walking along that path and build myself up from the little things.”
For Hallel, the 18 days security forces searched for the boys felt like “something in my life had simply stopped. It’s been four years and I feel I’ve grown too fast. I discovered many things about myself that I did not know. Such as that not everything in life comes easily. The label that I’m a bereaved sister is always there. And even though it is important to me that we know the story of Gilad and ours, I feel that as a family, something in our family has been damaged, and there is a great deal of commemoration and memory, but at the same time we have come together and come closer, suddenly a birthday is a significant thing, and we do not forget and invest in each other.”
Meitar was about to celebrate her bat mitzvah. “ It was the first event I celebrated without him. For two or three years after the murder, I did not talk to anyone about what happened. No one knew what I was thinking and how it affected me. I left everything in my stomach. Everything. The story of the bereavement was repressed and I simply did not let it come out. OneFamily is the place that made me open up and helped me in my ability to talk and share.”