US Secretary of State John FN Kerry went to see the parents of US citizen and fallen lone soldier Max Steinberg HY”D (May God Avenge his blood). Kerry put his foot so deeply into his mouth as to make it crystal clear why our rabbis decreed that one who goes to console a mourner should not speak until spoken to.
According to the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, “Kerry entered and exited the room swiftly, surrounded by men in black and refusing to take any questions from press.”
“How’s your day?” Kerry asked as he sat down. “How’s your day?” Evie [Steinberg's mother] asked back. “My day’s going better than yours,” he said.
In the meantime, the Steinberg’s are overwhelmed with the support that they have received here in Israel.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva at Jerusalem’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, where the family are observing the seven-day shiva mourning period, Max’s mother expressed gratitude for “all the love” the family had received from complete strangers.
“I cannot believe that all of these people are here for our son, and all the people that are here are giving us strength to get through this horrible time for our family,” she said.
She recalled how her son had been inspired to join the IDF after visiting the grave of another fallen lone soldier from America: Michael Levin, who died fighting with the IDF’s Paratrooper Brigade during the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Max’s father told how the Israeli people had “done everything they can to help us live through this very trying time.”
Addressing the family’s decision to bury Max in Israel – and not in LA as originally planned – he said they felt their decision had been validated after visiting Israel.
“…Once we got here and once we’ve been embraced by so many wonderful people.. and the beauty of the country and what it all stands for, there is no other decision.”
Some 30,000 people showed up at Steinberg’s funeral on Wednesday night.