Michael Levine z"l… One Year Later

23 Jul

Yesterday was Michael Levine’s first yertzhit (death) anniversary. I went to Har Herzel to pay respects both to a fallen soldier and to the family ,blood or not. Mike and I have shared values and I will pass along to my children G-d willingly one day. They will hear about Mike’s story and his will to return to his country and fight for it.

Looking around before the memorial began.. I drank in the little details surrounding his kever (grave). What stood out most was his fellow soldiers dressed in their green uniform, red kumtot and remembered how young Mike’s plugah is. Tzanchanim (Paratroopers) from the 891th brigade.

I dawned on me that not only were these boys the soldiers Mike fought with… but they were in Lebanon. These boys with their cute, babyish faces – saw what I could only see in war movies or horror movies.

I cried my way through the memorial. During the speeches where I got to learn a little bit more about Mike and who he was. Cried through the songs we sang in unison next to his grave. From Shira Ha’Maalot Esai Einyai El He-harim…. Ma’ayin Yavo Esri and especially when we sang HaTikvah.

The worst/most difficult part was hearing his family recite Kaddish all together on the last day in the first year from his death. It has been a year since their son, brother and beloved member of their family left this life and went onto the next one.

I walked out of the memorial with my arms numb from the elbows down. During the walk down from Har Hertzel to the bus stop… I took in the view. The sprawling view of Modern Jerusalem..in all Her possible Glory without the Holy Temple. This city and others in our country exist because of Mike and other soldiers who have not only fought but fallen protecting our country.

I do not think enough olim understand how vital it is to serve in the IDF. And I am not talking about just doing the shlav B for three to six months. Real life in Israel includes serving the country within the IDF and should not be overlooked.

I will forever regret not serving in the IDF when I was younger. But I will always have respect in my eyes when looking at an IDF soldier.

Mike’s heart went into the ground, his soul is in Heaven but his spirit will live on. His message will not be forgotten.

May his family be comforted among the mourners of Zion in Jerusalem.

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4 Responses to “Michael Levine z"l… One Year Later”

  1. ifyouwillit... July 24, 2007 at 12:12 pm #

    A beautiful account – thank you for sharing it with those of us who weren’t able to make it.

  2. Avram July 24, 2007 at 6:02 pm #

    this is quite possibly the best post I’ve read in quite some time … beautiful straight to-the-soul writing … thanks for sharing.

  3. yusha July 25, 2007 at 3:52 pm #

    thats true really touch the soul

  4. Jan July 25, 2007 at 10:50 pm #

    I am proud to say that I did know Michael Levin.Thank you for sharing those beautiful and so true thoughts with us. I was fortunate to hear the memorial ceremony via cell phone at Michael’s shul in the States. But your prespective is wonderful and a fitting tribute to a true “hero in heaven”.

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