Widow of Counterterrorism Hero Noam Raz HY”D “Thank you for choosing me to be your wife.”

Widow of Counterterrorism Hero Noam Raz HY”D “Thank you for choosing me to be your wife.”

This past Friday, 47-year-old Noam Raz of Israel’s elite counterterrorism unit, was tragically killed while hunting down a terrorist in Jenin. Noam Raz devoted his life to guarding the Jewish people in the Land of Israel and to his beloved wife, Efrat, and their 6 children. The State of Israel rests atop the strong and unwavering shoulders of people like Noam Raz. His death is a great loss for Israel but a far greater loss for his mourning family. I was moved so deeply by his wife Efrat’s eulogy that I sat down this afternoon in the middle of the Weisberg-family balagan and translated the whole thing. We have so much to learn from Noam Raz, how he lived and loved. And also, I think, from his broken widow, Efrat, who manages in this poignant eulogy to focus on the great blessings, the pure unwavering values, and the remarkable contributions of her husband’s short life.

Noam, I just want to say Thank You. Thank you for the privilege you granted us, thank you for choosing me to be your wife, thank you for the children who day by day are becoming more and more like you, thank you for our marriage, for a good 20 years together. It was so much and also so little. Thank you for teaching us to see the good, the glass half-full. And when the glass was empty, you said: Well at least we have a glass.

Thank you for teaching us not to fall for externals, how to see only what lies inside. You hated and ran away from all the fanciness and show. You must be fainting now from all the drum rolls and ceremony taking place in your honor. But what can you do? In your life you gave your all to the Jewish people, so the Jewish people is coming now to say Thank You.

Because you were so humble you didn’t think anything of yourself, even when you repeatedly stood behind podiums with achievements in many areas. Smart and handsome, talented and beloved, thank you for teaching us to be satisfied with little. How to rejoice in our worn out clothes because you never needed to buy anything new. And you would eat all the food that is in the fridge, because you didn’t need for anyone to prepare anything especially for you. And you rejoiced in your battered van and you would declare that only the serious people have a van like that. And you would straight away say ” Yes” to anyone who needed help, no matter what or where or when.

“He that has clean hands, and a pure heart;
“Who has not taken My name in vain,
“And has not sworn falsely…
“He walks with innocence and acts justly
“He does not gossip and does no evil to his friend”
For twenty years I’ve thought these psalms were written about you.
Thank you for teaching us what willpower, perseverance, determination and self-sacrifice are. Never missing Daf Yomi, or as you called it “Mirdaf HaYomi” the daily chase, even after a grueling training exercise late into the night. You always stayed fit and went running, even in the freezing wind of our yishuv, Kida. Even if it was late at night on a busy day. The main thing was to fit in more, because you lived in Noam-Time. Take advantage of every minute. You lived few days, but each day was long and significant.
My Noam, thank you for knowing us and giving yourself to us completely, despite and along with you work. No matter what you went through that day, once you got home you did everything that needed to be done. Straight to the dishes, laundry, repairs, shopping. But first the warm hug, the tickling, bouncing Halleli, wrestling with the boys. You were a great child-like soul with a big smile, with wit and humor, with a huge heart.

Thank you for the warmth, love and the happiness you brought into the home. The honoring of parents. You have given us so much stability and confidence, you have been a strong support, always leading us forward, setting goals, teaching us to strive, to overcome, to remember that no difficulty you come across in your path is a roadblock. All the trips, the family projects, the planning of the future and the everyday. Such rootedness. For you, the big words and high values were immediately expressed in actions.

During the Oslo Accords, for example, your protest was simply in adding good, building and joining a new yishuv. Planting trees, acres of olives and dreaming dreams that you so desperately wanted to fulfill in your vineyards. Your olive oil is so fine probably because of all your sweat. Who else cleans an entire orchard with a spade nowadays?

Your happiness from every tree that grows, because you knew them all. Last Shabbat we went on a walk and you explained to me about each and every tree, what its condition is and when it was planted. Your happiness from the first olives, from the first bottles of oil, your happiness from every drop of rain that falls, from seeing the heavy rains from the big window in the house. You will know that if there is rain after Nissan – it is because of Noam who prayed every year ‘give dew and rain for blessing’.
My Noam, thank you that in life with you you taught us who we are, why we are. Thanks to you our lives have become full of meaning. You said you don’t switch a winning horse, so we will not replace you. Our hearts are torn from longing and love. We want more of your goodness in the world. We will try to add more and more values, you have always been close to Hashem, and now even more so. My Noam, beseech Him: Please give courage to your people, and also strength to all of us, the family, the children and me.

Translation by JewishMOM.com

2 comments

  1. This was heart-wrenchingly painful and beautiful. Thank you for translating it. May Efrat and her family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Yerushalaim.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this!

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