Then Zaka came. Zaka is an Israeli organization that helps with lifesaving, rescue, and recovery efforts in terror attacks, disasters, or accidents. But they are best known for collecting human remains. According to Jewish law, you must bury the whole body together. Zaka arrived at the scene in India to clean the Chabad house, identify all the remains (down to the smallest part), and give solace to the families.
And we all moved on. The travelers who were stuck in their hotel rooms were freed, the bodies were buried, and the tweets slowly stopped. We all moved on and the victims weren't at the top of our minds. We inaugurated a new president and the world sunk deeper into a recession, but all the while a little man was starting a new life with his grandparents in Israel.
Moshe didn't forget so easily, but as time passed he stopped waking up in the middle of the night and screaming for his ima (momma) and abba (poppa). As the first anniversary, yahrzeit, of his parents' deaths approached, he had something more exciting to look forward to... his third birthday, a very special birthday in Orthodox Judaism. It is his first haircut, his upsherin. He was given his own set of tzitzit and a special kippah just like his father.
So from tragedy we find joy. Joy in Moshe's face. Joy in his grandparents' hearts when they see his face. Joy in every person who will benefit from all the initiatives in Gavriel and Rivkah's memory. Joy in the future that is yet to come.
Talia Davis is the daughter, granddaughter, and great-grandaughter of rabbis. She directs the Jewish Portal at Patheos and manages the site's online community.