Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Yom HaZikaron

Monday was our first day back at yeshiva from vacation, and the powers that be decided that our Yom HaZikaron tiyyul would take place the day before the actual day, because we just wouldn't be able to move around. It would be packed everywhere.
First we went to Har Tzofim, just to see the view, and our tour guide told us some stuff, about the Milchemet Ha'Atzmaut (Independence War), and of the 6 Day War, about Yerushalayim, etc. We then went to Giv'at HaTachmoshet (Ammunition Hill), and the first thing we did was watch a 22-minute movie about the 6 day war, and the brigade of paratroopers that took Yerushalayim. Quotes from soldiers who survived, talking about going up the hill, going house by house, watching their buddies die right in front of them, with clips of the war here and there. They talked about how they got closer and closer to the Old City, and Har HaBayyis (Temple Mount), and how they finally took it ("HaBayyit b'yadeinu! Habayyit b'yadeinu!"). It was really moving. After the movie, as we were leaving, I said to myself/everyone, "And this, folks, is why we join the army."

After that we walked around the hill, going to some monuments, with our tour guide telling us how they did it, in the trenches with the arabs, closed spaces, craziness all around.
Then we had lunch, and a little tour thing outside of the Old City, followed by Har Hertzl. Our tourguide took us to upstairs to some graves of soldiers, told us stories about quite a few. There were two soldiers on the other side, who told us the story of how 5 of their buddies died. We all just walked around; looking at the names, thanking them for giving up their life for me. It was in the back of my mind, but at one point, Rabbi Wolicki just said, "Can you believe it? Every single one of these soldiers died al kiddush HaShem (sanctification of God's Name), died protecting K'lal Yisrael." After the second time I responded, "Rabbi, you can stop scaring me now."
I saw Yosef Goodman's grave. He died on February 2nd. Yosef was in hesder, in the army, and he was also quarterback on the Tov Pizza (Efrat) football team in the american football league (his parents own TP). He was a paratrooper, and on one of the jumps, his parachute didn't open up...

Thank you to all of the chayyalim who gave their life for us, to live in a Jewish country (well, maybe not fully, but it's getting there). Thank you all.


Blogger Rik said...

Tonny, that is so sad.
oh and i can just see it now, Tov Pizza qaurter back makes it to major league football, or what ever they have in israel. seriously that is such a good football team name.

Wed May 03, 05:33:00 AM 2006  

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