After having served in the army for a little over a year, with two stints in Lebanon, Nachshon Wachsman, the son of my dear friends Esther and Yehuda, came home on a week's leave on Friday, October 7, 1994 just before the Sabbath. On Saturday night, he got a call from the army informing him that the following day, Sunday, he was to attend a course up north, where he and another soldier from his unit would learn to operate a special military vehicle and in a one-day-course receive a license. Nachshon was pleased to go and left home Saturday night. He never saw home again.
Nachshon was missing for three days. The following Tuesday, the Wachsmans were contacted by Israeli Television, who told us them they had received a video tape from a Reuters photographer showing their son being held hostage by Hamas terrorists. They said they were coming directly to their home in the Ramot Gimel section of Jerusalem home to show them the video before broadcasting it to the entire nation, and the world.
On that video tape, Nachshon was seen, bound hand and foot, with a terrorist whose face was covered with a kaffiya, holding up Nachshon's identity card. The terrorist recited Nachshon's home address, identity number, and then Nachshon spoke at gunpoint. He said that he had bee
n kidnapped by the Hamas, who were demanding the release of their spiritual leader, Achmed Yassin, from an Israeli prison, as well as the release of 200 other imprisoned Hamas terrorists. If these demands were not met, he would be executed on Friday at 8:00 PM.
I'll never forget the Thursday night before the ultimatum - over 100,000 people of all walks of life in Israel gathered together to pray for Nachshon at the holy Western Wall. I was one of them. Nachshon brought all of Israel together.
Hashem decided that Nachshon was needed in the upper portals of Heaven. Nachshon of saintly and blessed memory became a martyr during an unsuccessful rescue attempt by Israeli commandos who tried to break into the Ramallah-area stronghold hideout where Nachshon was being held. The unit-force commander, Captain Nir Poraz HY"D, was killed in that action.
The Hamas mastermind behind Nachshon's kidnapping was the arch-villain Muhammed Deif. If he's not dead already, the snake with 9 lives will soon lose its head. Hashem has His own timetable, but all villains eventually pay the price for their evil. Hamas is no exception.