Blogmaster note: This letter appeared in last week's BeSheva magazine. I found this letter quite interesting, and therefore translated it from the original Hebrew into English for my readers. Without further ado .....
To the dear Goldschmidt family,
Shalom. I am sure that you remember me as the officer that evicted you from (your) home. I hope that after this letter you will remember me differently.
For a long time, since that Tuesday in Ganei Tal, I wander about with a great feeling of distress. Approximately like all the soldiers that took part in the eviction of (the residents of) Gush Katif and (Northern) Samaria.
I've been wounded with a deep emotional wound. I regret every minute and I wish that this feeling would pass. Your pain affected me a lot, perhaps because you were the first family that I, with much sorrow, had to evict. That week it was very difficult for me to go home, because of the fact that I have a home to return to and also because I cried a lot and I did not want to see anybody. The sorrowful experience that I went through with you touched my heart. My dear father suggested to me that I write you this letter, in order to unload the emotional burden that lies upon me since then. To begin with I really want to say that I am sorry. I am sorry about the entire eviction process. I'm sorry that I had to stand there opposite you and hold back my tears, in spite that I felt that I am entirely one of you. I am sorry about the distress that was brought upon you and the rest of the families in your charming settlement. Ironically, Ganei Tal, which did not forcefully resist, pained us the most. I am sorry that I harmed you, and I wish you a happy life and a new start with a minimum of problems. I strengthen you from my little abode in the (army) base and believe in you with all my heart.
I write this letter in tears and sadness, and hope that you won't throw it out, or that it won't return you to the terrible day of the eviction. To your two charming daughters please send my deep sorrow with regards to everything that happened and my sincere (request for) forgiveness. And to you, the parents of the family that so touched my heart, you were so right in what you said to me and the other officer that was with me in your home - that the difficult mission of continuing life and guarding your children at this hard time has fallen upon you. At the end of this letter my personal telephone (number) is attached. I am sure that you do not want any connection with me and that you are trying to forget the past and to look towards the future, but if in spite of this you want to talk, I'll be happy to hear your voice again.
I am happy that the opportunity to contact you again was given to me, even if it is by means of a letter. Would it were that I could meet you again, but of course only at happy occasions. Forgive me for my terrible handwriting. I decided to turn to your hearts in a more personal manner, and not in printed form.
Again I want to write and summarize my words in such that never in my life have I gone through such a difficult situation, a situation of helplessness and deep emotional partnership with people that I do not know. At that time I felt hate and anger towards the governmental factors that sent us on this difficult mission, that caused us to look like robots opposite you, opposite charming people that I had the pleasure to meet even in sorrowful circumstances.
I hope that you do not hold a grudge against me, and that you will truly forgive me and the rest of the soldiers that against their will had to take part in the eviction of (the residents of) Gush Katif. Believe me that we did not want to do this. If I could turn the wheel back and cast off the emotional burden that I had that morning in your house, I would release the tears in order that you would know that it is hard for me as well and that I'm crying with you.
With this I'm finishing my letter again with a blessing of success for your charming family.
Oh that you should find only gladness and happiness in your life.