More than three years after the kidnapping, excerpts from the 16 year old's diary, written in a notebook scorched by fire and stained by water, will be published as part of a new book titled What Will the Day Bring - A Mother's Longing (Yedioth Books).
The book also features excerpts from the personal diary of Gil-Ad's mother, Bat-Galim Shaer, who documented the years that have passed since that dreadful day her son was taken.
"When the car was torched, both Jewish and Palestinian policemen arrived at the scene, and each collected what they found in the area," Shaer told Yedioth Ahronoth. "It's a great miracle. This diary could have been thrown in the trash. I couldn't stop shaking for hours after the police investigators left."
In one excerpt, Gil-Ad talks about the joys of prayer:
"Just last Monday I served as a cantor at the yeshiva for Shacharit and Mincha prayers. Shacharit was one of my strongest prayers. I prepared before the prayer to serve as a conduit, to have the prayers go from the public to G-d through me. It was an empowering and special experience. I got really emotional during the prayer. I tried my best to direct and purify my prayer, and I felt amazing. Now I pray many more of my prayers are like this. Because right after my prayers I fall apart. I'm late for prayers, and sometimes I miss them. But today I decided I will no longer fall apart: Falling into transgressions, falling into despair. I won't let it take over me. I hope to succeed. With G-d's help."
This was the excerpt his mother Bat-Galim was most touched by. "In Talmon, he wouldn't serve as a cantor, and all of a sudden he's talking about the great responsibility of being a cantor, and how it uplifts him. Our synagogue has a Torah scroll in Gil-Ad's name. When it is taken out, I remember these lines, and I could fall apart," she said.
"When you can't get up in the morning for prayer, it's falling apart," Bat-Galim explained. "But he doesn't despair. Quite the contrary, he hopes to succeed. What did this boy manage to do (in his life)? He didn't manage to do things more than he managed. These are thoughts that weaken me. But then I think about what he did do in his 16 and a half years, I think how he's lived a full life."
In another excerpt, Gil-Ad, whose name means eternal joy in Hebrew, sounds just as optimistic. "There's something special in me! Finally, I feel like I have found something strong within me. This life force. That's how I call it. I feel like there is a massive force of vitality in me. It finds expression in the great joy I try to maintain (Gil-Ad... there was a reason why I was given this beautiful name), it finds expression in the great love I feel towards my family and friends. I have an infinite power of love that wants what's best for my loved and close ones, that wants them near. It is making me happy," he wrote.