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  • Writer's pictureJewish Examiner

You’ll Laugh, You’ll Cry: Comedy for Koby

I’m going to a comedy show Sunday night for the saddest reason in the world and I will laugh out loud and I will be inspired by people that never cease to amaze me.

On a beautiful day in 2001 Koby and his friend Yosef did what every teenager has done since the beginning of time. Or since school was invented. They cut class to go on an adventure.

The two boys lived in Tekoa, a town in the Gush Etzion area of Judea. Their bodies were found the next day in a cave in Wadi Haritoun, not far from where they lived. Stabbed, beaten, and bloodied, under piles of rocks, there is little doubt that they were murdered by Palestinians from the area.

That kind of devastation can do unimaginable things to a person. It can unleash uncontrollable anger. It can make you turn so far inward that you get lost. Or as in the case of Koby’s parents, you make some kind of lemonade from the bitterest lemon you will ever find.

The Koby Mandell Foundation was created by his parents to help heal those affected by terrorism. It’s about healing. Comedy for Koby brings stand up comedians to Israel. They get to tour and we get to see a great show whose proceeds go to the Koby Foundation. I tip my hat to Avi Liberman, the ringmaster and comedy wrangler of Comedy for Koby.

There is a resiliency in all of us. This is a special kind of resiliency found in Israel in the face of brutal acts of terror. There will be a day when terror and conflict end and no one will need to be resilient. Until then, I choose laughter.

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