A little over two years ago Neve Daniel lost one of its youth. Eliyashiv was out for a run on an ordinary night when he died, suddenly, at the age of 18. Josh and I were taking a walk that night, when a man we know came running up, out of breath and shaken. He had found someone on the road, and we were drawn in to an incredibly painful and difficult drama. I blogged about it at the time and wrote,
“Then a family name was spoken. I don’t know if there exists a stranger feeling than I experienced. I knew something that I had absolutely no right to know.
His family was eatingarguingdancingpaintingpaying billstalkingonthephonegigglingmenu planningcookingcleaning upreminiscingyellingshowering.
And I was with their son who had just died. They did not yet know that their entire life had already changed. The change had occurred.
It was over.
I looked out over the yishuv and pictured people in every house in the entire community who were eatingarguingdancingpaintingpaying billstalkingonthephonegigglingmenu planningcookingcleaning upreminiscingyellingshowering, people who didn’t yet know that we had lost one of our own. A part of our body.
And within that noise, within that mass of people going about their business and continuing with their regular lives at 10:14 pm was his family. They were in a space of time where the course of their lives had already altered without their knowledge. I prayed that they should be given the strength to get through this incredible tragedy.
That they should be able to continue on.
Last night, Eliyashiv’s family put on a concert in his memory. They did so last year, as well, but we weren’t there for some reason. This year, I made sure to mark the date and Josh and I joined hundreds of others in the Matnas in Alon Shvut for a celebration of Eliyahsiv’s life.
|This was the flyer created for the event last night.|
And what a night it was.
Eliyashiv was a talented musician. He had recently graduated from Kinor David, a religious high school created for musicians. They invited Israeli singer/songwriter/flutist/pianist, Shem Tov Levi, to perform. But he didn’t just perform. He explained the process by which he creates his music and the path that he’s been on as a musician. He was warm, funny, lively and incredibly talented. And the audience ate it up.
And then when he finished, the program continued with performances of six very talented high school groups and solos who wanted to express their creativity through music. This included a student from Makor Chaim, bands with students from Kinor David and more. And the students played and sang and expressed their creativity.
During the night, I was thinking something that Shem Tov Levi then expressed as well. When he was leaving, after applause and thank yous from the family and the audience, he told the family that he was touched by their choice. He said that the evening was a beautiful way to remember their son. Rather than remembering with tears, with sadness and with mourning, they have created this way to remember their son through the music that he so loved. They allowed us to remember their son with laughter, with sing-alongs, and with a celebration of his life.
What a gift.
And what a night.