Father of fallen captive IDF soldier pens last letter before passing away

"My Oron, my son the hero, my brave warrior: since you left, my body has begun to betray me, I won't lie."

September 11, 2016 22:09
2 minute read.
Zehava and Herzl Shaul

Zehava and Herzl Shaul, the parent of fallen IDF soldier Oron Shaul. (photo credit: Courtesy)

Herzl Shaul the father of Oron Shaul, one of the fallen soldiers from Operation Protective Edge whose remains are held in the Gaza Strip, asked his son Aviram a day before his passing to record him reading a note to his Oron.

After two failed attempts to record the message due to the condition of Herzl's health, Oron's father lost consciousness and his family was called to part from him in his last hours.

The last thing he requested, with the last of his strength, was to sign the letter by himself.

The letter reads as follows:

"My Oron, my son the hero, my brave warrior: since you left, my body has begun to betray me, I won't lie, my body's situation could be much better, but unfortunately it is getting worse, every day, just a little more and a little more.

And in spite of this, I continue to be strong and believe. I cannot give up because I want to arrive at the moment that I've imagined since the day you were kidnapped. The moment that the prime minister and the chief of staff of the IDF called me and told me, Herzl, Sergeant Oron Shaul, combat soldier in the Golani brigade from the 13th battalion will return home this evening from war.

I imagine how, straight after the phone call, I'd tell Mom, Aviram and Ofek that you are returning to us in just a few hours, albeit injured and weary; a prisoner of war that will expect a long rehabilitation process, but at home! This script has been running through my head every hour, keeping me strong.

Oron my love, if you see this when you return, they will surely tell you about the anguish that we endured until you returned from captivity. The lies and manipulation from all those people whom we respected and admired in the past. But my request to you is to not hold resentment or anger.

Do you know why? Because there is no nation in the world like the nation of Israel. Since your kidnapping, hundreds of thousands of people that we have never met or knew, from the north to the south, everyone reaching out a hand and helping and showing true infinite love, and only because you were sent to war to protect them.

I am sure that this incredible nation won't leave Mother and your brothers alone for a second, even if my illness defeats me. Don't forget this ever, be proud of this nation, and I expect from you when you return to help and donate in every way possible for those same people that will need help.

Oron, my dear, I have a confession. Do you remember when you told me you were enlisting to Golani, and your mother begged that you would change your decision because it is dangerous? Just so you know, even though I didn't tell you this, in my heart I was full of pride and joy. I want to apologize to you, my beloved son, that I didn't listen to your mother."

Yasser Okbi contributed to this article

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