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Jewish Journal

Open letter from Leehy Shaar

by Leehy Shaar

June 20, 2014 | 6:50 pm

<em>Lihi Shaar rests her head on a poster of her nephew, Gilad. Photo by Marvin Steindler.</em>

Lihi Shaar rests her head on a poster of her nephew, Gilad. Photo by Marvin Steindler.

To My American Friends,

I’m writing this letter to all the fathers in the United States who have teenage boys, who can identify with the feeling that a parent feels as they wait for their child to come home from school.

You and my older brother, Ofir, have something in common. You both are fathers and you both deeply love your son.

My brother Ofir has six children, but only one son—Gilad.

He’s smart, beautiful, and working his way through high school. He has many friends, plays sports and games, and doesn’t have very much to worry about.

Your son too, I’m sure, is smart, beautiful and talented at many things.

Let me tell you a bit about Gilad.

He has 5 sisters—and he loves to spoil and take care of each of them.

He loves to bake cakes, and they are truly delicious.

He’s also a counselor for “B’nai Akiva,” an international Jewish youth organization. He’s great with children—his kids love and admire him.

I'm sure you and your wife have dreams for your son, like where he will go to college. And I'm sure your son has hopes and dreams of his own—like what he will do and the type of girl he will marry.

Ofir and his wife have plans for their son, and Gilad has his own dreams.

On Thursday night, June 12th, though, Gilad lost control of his life. He was just trying to come home for the weekend. But, unlike your son, Gilad lives in a country where many people want to kidnap him.

Waiting at a bus stop with two of his friends, only a few minutes from his high school, Gilad, Eyal and Naftali were abducted by terrorists.

They still haven’t made it home.

You can only imagine what Gilad’s father, Ofir, is going through, and the thoughts going through his mind. I pray that you will never have to experience this.

Where are they keeping Gilad? In a tunnel? Is he tied up? His hands or his legs? Or both?

Is there a bag over his head? A blindfold on his eyes? Are they feeding him? If so, I’m sure the food is not kosher.

Are they letting him sleep? Are they hurting him? Is he, God forbid, in pain?

Is Hamas allowing Gilad, Eyal and Naftali to stay together? Or did they separate them?

Is he even still alive?

You can see how painful this is for everyone who loves Gilad. He and his friends did nothing wrong. They are pure, sweet and innocent. They are just three young boys who wanted to go home for the weekend.

You and my brother, Gilad’s father, deserve a healthy and happy son. Gilad deserves to have his life back.

For God’s sake, he’s only 16.

Thank You,

Leehy Shaar

[READ AN INTERVIEW WITH LEEHY SHAAR]

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