Dozens of bereaved families across the country attended a Purim costume party in Jerusalem held by the OneFamily organization on Wednesday.
Among the families who arrived at the festivities was Renana Meir, the daughter of Dafna Meir who was murdered in her home by a Palestinian about a year ago. "It's very hard, but I'm also engaged, so there is something to celebrate," Said Meir. "Coping is daily and difficult, I'm not going to lie."
Meir then praised OneFamily, saying that the event is an "amazing place, it gives me hope and lets another smile enter my day. Outside of here we sometimes feel abnormal, but when we come here we can all be ourselves, laugh about silly memories and cry about the touching ones. Everyone here has dealt with the same thing, so its gives happiness a sense of normalcy."
Miriam Peretz, who lost both her sons, IDF soldiers Uriel and Eliraz, explained how complex it could be. "Our ability to get up, get dressed, put on makeup, and come here to enjoy ourselves, is the real victory for us," she summarized, adding that "the history of the Jewish people teaches us that we can turn grief into joy. We can cry for the ones we lost, but also gather ourselves, rise again and celebrate."
Bracha and Shlomo Kopinsky, parents of Rabbi Aryeh Kopinsky who was killed at a terrorist attack in a synagogue in Har Nof, said that "our son volunteered to help children cross the road every Purim, dressed as a clown and handed out candy. So we carried on his tradition," they said, both dressed in costume.
"Last year we fell into despair. Getting help from OneFamily completely changed our outlook. It gave us strength to care for his widow and children," they said.
OneFamily CEO Chantal Belzbeg said that the organization is there to aid the bereaved families throughout the year, adding that "we invited them to come and celebrate Purim, even though we know it is very hard, and a lot of them couldn't find the strength for it. They say that there is no need for costumes or masks, because they have to wear one every day of the year."