Sunday, April 22, 2007

Israel's Fallen Heroes - One Personal Story

As Israel's afternoon sun slowly sets over Jerusalem, we prepare to commemorate Israel's Memorial Day, "Yom HaZikaron" -- the day we remember the approximately 22,500 who fell defending the Land of Israel since the 1860s when the Jewish people created the early neighborhoods outside the old city of Jerusalem.

The families of the fallen are everywhere, integrated into our lives in Israel. While we live our lives day after day, often, we aren't even aware of those who carry this burden along with them.

Today, I heard Mrs. Cheryl Mandel speak about her son, Daniel.

Daniel "a.k.a. Mendel the Platoon Commander” was killed in battle in Shechem (Nablus) on “Yod Gimel Nissan” at 5am as he led his elite IDF unit in an operation to capture three wanted Palestinian terrorists responsible for the deaths of at least thirty and the injury of over one hundred and forty Israelis.

Despite Mrs. Mandel's calm and quiet demeanor, her determination radiates to all.

"The terrorists won when they killed Daniel, but I won't give them the benefit of another "win" by getting to me as well", she said.

It saddened me to hear her say that, "When Daniel was killed in the line of duty as an IDF solider defending Israel, we were no longer olim chadashim...'new immigrants' we joined the ranks of Israelis as families of fallen soldiers."

I hope that everyone loses their oleh chadash status, without having to undergo such personal tragedy.

She summarized by saying that part of the training her son Daniel underwent, was the 110 kilometer "trek" that IDF soldiers in the Nachal Palsar unit have to run. While her son was not the strongest, he was given the task of carrying the "mag"...the machine gun, which weighs around 25 pounds. Daniel's commander told him, "Mandel, carry it," and he did. It was a very difficult task to run with a "mag"for 110 kilometers, yet he successfully finished the trek carrying it.

Cheryl Mandel likens that trek to her own; G-d, our commanding officer gave her the task of carrying the burden of her son's sacrifice on her trek through life.

Just as her son successfully completed his trek, she hopes to continue living her life (despite the unexpected task thrown her way) and moving forward optimistically, building the Land of Israel.

As this important day starts, please take a few minutes to view the following video (with English subtitles) about this one solider. While there are 22,500 other families and each one has their own story to tell, I would like to present this one tonight about Daniel Mandel.

More information about Daniel can be found at this website, including his family's contact information.

Tonight, we remember those who fell defending Eretz Yisrael, and how through their sacrifice, we are able to continue living, building, and rebuilding our homeland.

Please remember them in your tefillot, learning, and positive actions.

Shavua Tov,


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Jack Steiner said...

Very powerful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.Very moving and personal.

Tsedek said...

Yihieh Zichronam Baruch....

Anonymous said...

Jameel, thank you.

(tears filling my eyes) That memorial park is just so creative and beautiful. IY"H I want to visit there.

You did it again; it is always a privilege to share in the emotions of those who give/gave so much to make it possible for all Jews to have a HOME! it.

Do you hear me out there! We all have a HOME! Why are you still sitting in argentina, paris, london, germany, hungary, iran, iraq, syria, egypt, china, japan, rome, ireland, ny, florida, california, indonesia, pakistan, canada, spain . . .

Do you hear me . . . COME HOME!

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Thanks Jameel. I didn't get to hear Cheryl yesterday so I'm very grateful you put this up.

You might be interested in this post:

rabbi without a cause said...

Thank you for posting this.

Orthonomics said...


mevaseretzion said...

Thank you.

RaggedyMom said...

Thanks for posting this video, Jameel.

Kamagra said...

You did it again; it is always a privilege to share in the emotions of those who give/gave so much to make it possible for all Jews to have a HOME! it.

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