OpinionIsrael at War

Lulu

A visitor from Israel comes to Palm Beach.

Alon Lulu was taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7 and accidentally killed by IDF soldiers in Gaza in December 2023. Source: YouTube.
Alon Lulu was taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7 and accidentally killed by IDF soldiers in Gaza in December 2023. Source: YouTube.
Elaine Rosenberg Miller
Elaine Rosenberg Miller has written for many online and print publications, including Jerusalem Record, The Forward, The Jewish Press and The Times of Israel. Her books can be found at Amazon.

On Dec. 16, our rabbi announced that Avi Lulu of Kibbutz Kfar Aza, who spent Chanukah with us in Palm Beach, Fla., and returned to Israel on Dec. 11, had telephoned him the previous day to tell him that his son Alon had been one of three hostages mistakenly killed by Israel Defense Forces soldiers.

The congregation roiled with anguish.

We had gotten to know Avi. He spoke at menorah-lightings, Shabbat services, parlor meetings and before the Jewish Federation.

Kfar Aza is located near the Gaza border. On Oct. 7, 80 of its more than 700 residents were killed by Hamas and hostages were taken, including Avi Lulu’s son. When the IDF retook the town four days later, they found evidence of horrific brutality.

“I know my son is alive,” Avi said. “I know he will be free. Let us celebrate Chanukah.”

He said it with faith and confidence.

“It’s a nes,” I told him at Shabbat kiddush.

“Yes,” he smiled, “it is.”

It was true. His son had been alive when he said it.

The victims of Oct. 7 and the weeks to follow were Christian, Druze, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim. Their last names speak of Ethiopian, English, French, Indian, Persian, Romanian, Russian, Tanzanian, Thai and Ukrainian descent. Most were citizens of Israel. Some were visiting agricultural students hoping to gain the skills to help feed the people in their home countries. Others were lone soldiers, Christian Zionists and converts, including one whose conversion was sped up after he told the Military Conversion Court, “I know that I may die in battle, and if that happens, God forbid, I want to die as a Jew.”

Israelis must never again, if they ever did, think that their successes in agriculture, business, philanthropy, science and numerous other fields means they are protected against the inhuman, self-defeating hatred of their enemies.

Amalek lives.

News reports say that Alon Lulu was 26 and studying computer engineering. He was a handsome young man with a wide smile.

Lulu.

It is an uncommon surname to Western ears.

My mother would whisper “gey lulu” when I was a very young child. It meant “Go (to) rest (sleep).” It was part lullaby, part prayer; because a restful sleep is a blessing.

Then came Oct. 7.

It will disturb the sleep of lovers of justice for a long time to come.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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