October 18th, 2011

Letter to the family of Gilad Shalit from Dr. Dieter Graumann

Dear Noam and Aviva,
dear Yoel and Hadas,

I know that you are receiving a lot of personal letters and many good wishes in these days from all over the world, but I know that in these moments you are just thinking of one thing: The homecoming of your lovely son and brother Gilad - and so do we!

Still, it was a matter of my very personal concern to write to you these lines.

As a father myself I can only imagine what you and your whole family have been through in the last five years. But the endless love for your child helped you to go on in your fight for his release and to never, never give up. Your courage and strength were a symbol for people worldwide who have fought in their home countries with hundreds of initiatives and rallies for the common goal: To set your son free!

The unlawful captivity of a young man who was faithfully performing his duty by a terrorist organization which rejected any basic human right was too often hard to convey and the brutal injustice so hard to bear.

But we all tried, and the Jewish community in Germany kept praying and calling loudly and from the bottom of our hearts for Gilad's release. And we never lost our faith that he will return to his family and that this nightmare that started 2006 will have a happy ending for you. Five years have been five years too long, but now finally he is home again, and we all here pray that he will return safely and in good health to the arms of his family.

We are only a few days after Rosh Hashana, and so I wish that this year may be a sweet and peaceful one for you, Shana Tova umetuka and that you all shall be inscribed in the book of good life! Words really cannot express the happiness I feel for you and I wish you all that your common future shall be a sweet one.

In these recent, so very long years, Gilad has become the son and brother of all of us.

In the name of the Jewish Community in Germany, please send our very best wishes to Gilad and tell him how proud of him we all are – and how happy with all of you.

Best wishes to you all,

Sincerely

Dr. Dieter Graumann,
President of the Central Council of Jews in Germany