April 26, 2012
After the death of holy ones…
Dedicated to the memory of the Israeli soldiers whose selfless sacrifice gave and gives us a State we can call our own, including:
My cousin Major Benji Hillman z”l of blessed memory , a Company Commander in the elite Egoz unit of Golani, killed just three weeks after his wedding, in the summer of 2006, in the second Lebanon War, while leading his men into battle.
Yosef Yitzchak Goodman z”l of blessed memory, an Israeli paratrooper who was tragically killed in 2006 while on a training mission in the elite Maglan paratrooper special forces unit.
Daniel Mandel z”l of blessed memory, who was killed in 2001, commanding a mission in Nablus to capture wanted terrorists responsible for the deaths of over thirty Israelis.
Dvir Mor Chaim z”l of blessed memory, a former student killed while in Lebanon on patrol a few short kilometers from reaching the Israeli border and safety.
Aaron (Areleh’) Friedman, crushed by a tank in a tragic accident in 1986.
Dani Moshits and David Cohen, close friends killed in an ambush in Lebanon in 1985.
Sharon Segev, my former commander, killed by accidental gunfire in 1984.
Uri Farraj, killed in a tragic training accident in 1983.
His name was Chaim; Chaim Avner, a name familiar to me for a long time, but I never really knew who he was, and I never had the chance to meet him, or to meet his very special family, until one year on Memorial Day. I had seen them before, and even shared some of their most personal moments, but I never wanted to intrude….
Chaim, you see, is close to a very close and old friend of mine, in fact, he is about as close as you can get; his grave lies next to Dani’s on Mount Herzl, Israel’s National Military Cemetery
Dani Moshitz of blessed memory, is still, and will always be to me, 20 years old, which is how old he was when he was killed in an ambush at the Kasmiyeh Bridge in Lebanon, in 1985. He was killed just two days after Chaim of blessed memory, who was 27 at the time. Chaim was doing a 16 day stint of reserve duty in Lebanon when a Hezbollah terrorist drove his car bomb into their safari truck, killing him, along with eleven other soldiers on patrol in Southern Lebanon.