My dear father, on the last week of your life you painted the house, and when I asked you why – after all, the house looked like a pharmacy – you replied: "If there is a shiva (the seven-day mourning period in Judaism), the house must shine." It was as if you had felt it.
On the last evening of your life, you called and asked me to come over with the children. I got ready to leave the house with them, although they were already in their pajamas, because I felt the urgency in your voice, but I couldn't find the key. I'm sorry, father, that just because I was afraid of leaving the house open, I failed to fulfill your last wish. And that's not the only thing I must apologize for today.
Twenty years have passed since that horrible day when I accidentally heard, from an acquaintance I met on the street, that you had been murdered – and since then, not a day goes by that I don’t think about you, that I don’t miss you. The smile, the embrace, the support.
That day you returned from a prayer at the Netanya synagogue straight into the store, and prepared coffee for the laborer who worked for us – while he snuck up behind you and stabbed you to death. Now he is being set free, at the age of 39. He will start a family, after destroying our family. Today you are being murdered for the second time, father.
I apologize to you, father, for failing to prevent the release of the beast that murdered you. It would have taken a lot of energy to fight it, and I didn't have that energy. I preferred to repress, to believe it wouldn't happen. I admit, I didn't do enough. I didn't have the mental strength for that. And now I'm devastated.
Father, you were always a gentleman. Polite, smiling, courteous, generous. You educated us to be respectable and respect others. We raised all children and grandchildren in your spirit. You can be proud of us, the united family you left behind. We haven't shamed you. Our leaders are the ones shaming you and your memory.
Lea Federing is the daughter of Moshe Edery, who was murdered on November 24, 1993 by Nasser Barhoum, who was set free Monday night as part of the third stage of the prisoner release