"Up until two years ago, I considered a Bar Mitzvah to be a father and son event. It appears that it can also take place without a father.
It happened on Sunday, the 13th of August, 2008. I could not sleep that night and only fell asleep at two or three in the morning. I slept for an hour and then Mom woke me up: "Gal, come to Yuval's room." I entered my sister, Yuval's, room. Mom said, "Dad was killed in Southern Lebanon, we will continue life as usual." It took about ten minutes for me to understand and then I broke out in tears, a bitter cry which I have never experienced before.
Two years have passed since then, and it seems like forever. Two years without you? Already?
We have experienced many things without you, Dad: flights abroad, celebrations, family gatherings, where your voice was missing so badly, Mom's, Yuval's, and Assaf's birthdays, and my Bar Mitzvah.
Up until two years ago, I considered a Bar Mitzvah to be a father and son event. It appears that it can also take place without a father.
I remember that during one of the trips we took in a section of the Israel Trail, you told me in a promising voice that after the reading from the Torah at the synagogue, you will take three months vacation from work and we will tour the entire Israel Trail, just you and me. It did not happen.
So we try to continue life as usual. To laugh. To cry. To have fun. Just to continue our daily routine. And you, Dad, watch us from above, surely with the proud smile that only you have.
Mentioning pride, I want you to know that when people ask me: "What does your Dad do?" I am as proud as I can be to answer that you were killed in the Second Lebanon War. That you were killed so that we could live. That you were killed for this State.
"I had a father, and all that is left is pain, a huge and endless pain, a pain that will remain forever, throughout my life!"
Dad, I miss your hug and laughter, your support, and I even miss the days when I did my math homework with you, and you would not agree to begin working until we had everything we needed in front of us.
I want you to know that I try to follow your lead, follow your love for this country, to help others, and be both optimistic and cynical all the time.
This is it. That is all I have to say. I want to finish with a sentence I said during the Chief of Staff's evening for the orphans: "I had a father, and all that is left is pain, a huge and endless pain, a pain that will remain forever, throughout my life!"
I love you most in the world."