Photo: Vered Adir
Two women. Both of them mourning. A black shirt, a pain-filled face. The man, the father, is out of the frame. He sits to the side with a torn shirt and says nothing. War is a matter for men; mourning is feminine.
You won’t see me crying here, said Miki Goldwasser when she started to talk, refusing to cooperate with the customary grief norms. She is not the mother who will fall down on the coffin and cry out. Not even a tear. Her hair is cropped, her face thin and tough. Dark sunglasses are covering her eyes. She is there because she has something to say, not because she wants to satisfy the viewers’ needs for liberating tears.
Karnit Goldwasser is sitting next to her. She is crying, but every time she sees an acquaintance or friend, or when a thought goes through her mind, a small smile emerges on her face, lively and natural like the tears. Her face is soft, her hair flowing, and she gave her sunglasses to someone. It is difficult to take our eyes off of her. Karnit is sitting there, completely exposed. She came to bid her husband farewell, but she cannot forget that he hasn’t been hers only for a while now.
Days of Mourning
Emotional day winds down as Goldwasser, Regev families return home to mourn in private after bidding tearful farewells at funerals attended by thousands who came to pay respects. President visits with Karnit, offers words of comfort
With her angry tone, Miki Goldwasser is the first and only Israeli so far able to stand up to Nasrallah’s propaganda. My fellow countrymen, hold your heads high, she says in a way no other leader would dare do. Without hesitation she talks about victory in the Second Lebanon War. She has no questions or doubts, and if there were failures, we’ll take care of them. This is our own business, and let no one take pleasure in our weakness.
Reclaiming our national dignity
Softly, with a chocked up voice, Karnit Goldwasser speaks to her dead husband. I will bid you my personal farewell elsewhere, she says. If that is the case, then just like her mother-in-law, here she is talking to the nation. She pledges her allegiance to Ehud for the second time, backs his doubt-free march to the battlefield, and promises all of us that she is moving on. Four times in her eulogy she asked what the chances are of time healing the wounds, yet not even once she said there was no cure.
They are sitting side by side, and at a certain moment both hug the man who seems to be the most broken there, the father, Shlomo. Yet on this day, they came to care for an entire nation overcome by grief. Miki Goldwasser came to reclaim our national dignity, while Karnit came to reclaim our national soul.
And they are completely dedicated to their roles. They are the ultimate Hebrew mother and wife, willing to sacrifice, serve as the silver platter, and allow their personal pain to offer strength to the nation.
There is something in the wisdom of these two women, in their clear vision and personally, that is beyond what we have become accustomed to. After all, we and our leaders learned that pain weakens us, and that we are allowed and should react out of fear and without thinking too much. They, on the other hand, do not give in to the pain, they are fearless, and they thought hard and long about every word they uttered.
Karnit and Miki Goldwasser are not the type of women who fought to get the IDF out of Lebanon, yet maybe in their own way, they will clear the horrors of Lebanon from our soul.