On behalf of Women In Green, February 5, 2003
Dearest Family Ramon,

In the name of tens of thousands of our Women in Green Members, in Israel and abroad, we wish to convey our sincerest
condolences for the loss of your dear Ilan, of blessed memory.

We did not know Ilan personally, but over the past weeks he has become a part of each of us.  Our children thought of him as
their personal hero.  They did not stop talking about him, admiring him and considering him their role model.

Ilan succeeded where all Israeli politicians have failed.  He successfully united all of Am Yisrael -- right and left, religious and
non-religious, new and old immigrants, those born or living in Israel, or those living in the Diaspora.

How did he unite us?

By being a proud Jew!  Despite the fact that he was religiously observant, he intuitively understood that to be a proud Jew
he must cling to his Jewish tradition, his Biblical ancient homeland, and his noble and learned ancestry.

His taking a Torah scroll from Bergen Belzen to space; his request for kosher food, his taking with him a flag of Israel and
a mezuzah, his saying kiddush in space; his asking that trees be planted throughout Israel to commemorate the day he was
launched into space; his saying "Shma Yisrael" when seeing Jerusalem from space, were all incredible acts of sanctification
of the G-D of Israel.

He symbolized what a Jew is all about in his love for the People of Israel, in his love for the Torah of Israel, in his love
for the Land of Israel, and in his love for the G-D of Israel.  What Ilan did in two weeks probably had more of an impact on
Jewish children in Israel and abroad than the many years they spend learning in their schools.

We mourn with you the loss of this wonderful Jewish Hero.

Our words will certainly not lessen your grief.  However, we want you to know that all of the People of Israel embrace you
with love, affection, and care, and share your tragic loss.

Be strong and of good courage.  As is traditionally said when visiting those who have lost someone dear:  "May the G-D of
Israel comfort you and your children along with the rest of the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem."  May you know no further

Jerusalem, February 5, 2003
Ruth and Nadi Matar
On behalf of Women in Green
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