Friday, July 12, 2013

12-Jul-13: A promise to dream: Remembering Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan

The article below was written in memory of Asher Palmer and his infant son Yonatan. On April 2, 2013, a former member of the Palestinian Authority security forces by the name of Waal al-Araja, a resident of Halhoul was convicted in an Israeli military court of their murder.

We wrote here several times about the attack that brought about their deaths some 21 months ago [see "25-Sep-11: "Only" rock throwers - but now a father and his infant son are dead"] and about the tough determination of Michael Palmer, Yonatan's grieving grandfather and the loving father of Asher, to ensure the Palestinian Arab gang who planned and carried out the attack were brought fully to account by the law.

Al-Araja was convicted not only of the murder of the Palmers [Ynet] but of involvement in a series of additional attempted murders based on the same modus operandi - hurling rocks and cement blocks from fast moving vehicles into the windshields of oncoming cars driven by Israelis.

Attacks by rock hurling terrorists have rarely, if ever, resulted in an indictment for murder in the Israeli system. The world is a much better place now that Michael Palmer was instrumental in effecting this blow for justice.

This article was prepared in connection with the launch of a scholarship fund in memory of the Palmers. Further details here. The article is published with the permission of the author.

A Promise to Dream
The secret to realizing your dreams is to believe in your dream simply because it matters to you.   
Copyright © 2013 Rivkah Rybak []

When the fellow students of Asher at Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem (ACE-Jlm), coming from different backgrounds and yet similar circumstances proclaimed to unite in actualizing Asher’s dream, it matters not the time and nor place they dared to declare their unification. For no evil inclination will succeed to break their resolution and must take heed. Against a common bond of understanding and respect strong and true, evil simply has no chance and will always lose.

Asher Palmer had a dream, a wonderful, heartfelt, gratifying dream. He had a home, a beautiful wife, a son and another angelic life waiting to emerge into this world as we know it today. They had a life full of happiness and love. Our life had meaning and purpose. And then one day, in the blink of an eye, it all changed.

Asher’s life goal for himself and his family was to combine Torah and a career in the Israel high-tech industry to strengthen Jewish life in the Land of Israel. The terrorists extinguished two young lives that day, but Asher’s goal cannot be extinguished because dreams never die. Never give up on your dreams, if you keep on believing somehow, somewhere you will find the answer.

Therefore, the goal for those of us who survive is to defeat the evil that killed Asher and Yonatan HY”D and not let it quell his dream. With the help of the Asher and Yonatan Fund established at the Azrieli College of Engineering Jerusalem, together with funds provided by the Palmer family in the memory of Asher and Yonatan Palmer z”l, 36 students were able to do just that, seize the moment and unite through their own actions to fulfill Asher’s dream as well.

Two of those students shared their respective experiences of what is like to receive their share of the scholarship, how it affected them personally and why they felt the fund was important. Yoel (studying Software Engineering) and Yitzhak (studying Industrial Engineering) at the Azrieli College of Engineering.

It is not important, both Yitzhak and Yoel explained, that we were not close friends, we are like family here at (ACE-Jlm). Whilst Yitzhak’s and Yoel’s lives differ in many ways, a common bond brings them together in an expression of bitter-sweet commemoration of Asher and Yonatan Palmer z”l. We have a common goal to improve our lives, the lives of our families, to continue to build and strengthen Eretz Israel.

The unique environment of (ACE-Jlm) allows students like us to fit our learning schedule in to our already very busy lives. As students we not only had to meet the demands of day-to-day life of studies, we also have family obligations. Many of the students here have at least one job, perhaps more, to offset their family’s needs.

Is it possible to express elation and amazement in one breath, asks Yitzhak? To receive the scholarship was an unbelievable gift and yet bewilderment filled the minds of these students. Who and why would anyone want to help us? For some of the students they explained it was also very difficult because of the circumstances surrounding its establishment

Yoel and Yitzhak are both at the end of studies and have already succeeded in procuring employment in their respective fields. Although neither of these students studied together with Asher, as they were at different stages in their study programs than he was, there existed a mutual understanding and respect for each other’s goals.

Anyone who has ever made a serious commitment to college or university education under normal circumstances can empathize with the addition burdens these students carry. Albeit “(ACE-Jlm)” students endure many challenges, and yet they all exude a tremendous love, fervor and dedication to the preservation and development of the land of Israel, and the people of Israel.

Do not let the fear of not knowing what the outcome will be, and having so much at stake,stop you from acting upon your dreams . Dreams have no limits; you are the creator of your dreams, big or small. Once you understand this concept, the method needed to delineate the ultimate plan of action to accomplish your goals will become crystal clear. The more you chase your dreams the more the obstacles that the world puts in front of us fade, as we learn that any and everything is possible.

Great dreamers attain independence; learning that they're actions can change the outcome. When you follow your dream, you are the first to see it come true. You can share your accomplishments with the rest of the world from your front row seat as you experience the magic of your dreams unfold. Dreaming is the way we define what matters to us and how we want to live our lives to the fullest.

Each human being is a gift, and we each have our own unique dream and purpose for living. We each must mine our imaginations, creativity and souls which will enable to uncover our true purposes and passions. Our dreams are magic, and if respected, nurtured and honored, they ultimately bring tremendous meaning and purpose to our lives.

Through scholarships like the Asher and Yonatan Fund these dreams can and have become a reality. For the students receiving these funds, especially for some, it can make all the difference in their ability to focus on their education and quality of their day-to-day family lives. Difficult though it may have been for some to even accept the award because of the circumstances surrounding its creation, a resounding honor and pride was clearly conveyed by the students sharing in Asher’s dream.

The truth is we all need more opportunities to dream, to imagine and to play. We long to experience being lost in a joyful moment. To laugh, discover, experiment, invent, feel accomplished and live in the moment.

"Promise two things... First, that you'll always remember the times you shared together with a loved one. For you will meet again, some time, somewhere. In the meantime, they will always be with you. Second, you’ll continue to believe in your dreams, the prospect of having a dream come true is what makes life worth living...”

In memory of Asher and Yonatan z”l


Unknown said...

I was very moved when I read this article which not only updated the tragedy caused "only" by stone-throwing, but told a story that I've never heard before, that of the scholarship to help students carry on Asher's dream of building a better Israel. Thank you for sharing this.

ybenews said...

That is the whole point of the article. Michael Palmer, father of Asher and grandfather of Yonatan, wanted after so much pain and tragedy for people to see that something good could come from sucuch a horrific experience.

Thank you for sharing.

Rivkah Rybak