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Author David Grossman eulogizes murdered settler teen

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(JTA) The body of Dvir Sorek, the 19-year-old student who was murdered last Thursday in a West Bank terrorist attack, was found clutching a book by David Grossman, a staunch opponent of Israeli settlements.
by CNAAN LIPHSHIZ | Aug 15, 2019

Sorek’s friends from the West Bank settlement of Ofra, where his family lives, described him as a unique young man, saying that he was, “an upstanding person, a poet, a musician with a special connection to nature”.

This is perhaps the reason that he chose to give an unusual goodbye gift to his teachers at the West Bank religious seminary, or yeshiva, he attended. Instead of Jewish scripture, he bought them modern literature, including the latest book by Grossman.

Sorek’s body was found not far from the yeshiva. One of the books found with him was Life Plays a Lot with Me, the latest novel by Grossman, a celebrated Israeli author whose 1987 book The Yellow Wind was among the most influential on public opinion about Israel’s military presence in the West Bank.

On social media, Sorek’s final literary choices became a powerful symbol of unity in a country that is deeply divided over West Bank settlements, and the role of religion in society.

But that’s only part of the reason it moved Grossman deeply, the author said during a speech he delivered at a commemoration for Nechama Rivlin, the late wife of President Reuven Rivlin.

“I didn’t know Dvir Sorek, but from what I have heard today, he was such a humane boy,” Grossman said, according to Ynet. “Sensitive. Loved humanity, and loved peace. An artist in his soul. My heart goes out to his parents, his family, and all his loved ones. I know from experience that a difficult path lies before them.”

Grossman lost his son Uri in 2006, a soldier fighting Hezbollah in the Second Lebanon War.

“I also know that such a special boy as Dvir, so unique, will light their path as they mourn his loss,” Grossman said. He also said, “The image of him hugging my book breaks my heart.”

Sorek’s killer hasn’t been found. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last Friday he was confident the killer would soon be brought to justice.

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