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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Falling from the sky

I may be up to posting my thoughts on the terrible events that took place this week in Amona a little later... but not right now.

We just found out that one of our neighbors lost a son this evening during a parachute training jump with his elite IDF unit over Nitzanim Beach. They were apparently practicing either twilight or night jumps, going out the door of the plane in pairs when two of the soldier's chutes became entangled with one another. 

While falling through the air the two tried unsuccessfully to separate themselves, and when it became clear that the one partially-inflated canopy wouldn't support them both, the two young man took out their knives and cut themselves apart.  Unfortunately only one of them managed to successfully deployed his reserve chute.

In addition to being the son of one of Zahava's ulpan classmates, the young man who was killed was also the older brother of one of Ariella's classmates. 

In the past whenever there has been a loss in the community we have spoon-fed the news to the kids over time in order to sheltered them from the brunt of the shock.  But not only was this someone Ariella knew, but we assured her last week that she was an adult now, so along with her own wine glass at the dinner table comes some not-so-nice stuff... like hearing bad news with the rest of the grown-ups.

Almost immediately we got a call from the kid's school assuring us that the school psychologist and a team of crisis counselors would be available for the students tomorrow.  I don't know whether to be relieved that they are so on top of things in terms of looking after the students, or sad that they've had enough practice to become really efficient at dealing with this sort of thing.

Tomorrow morning we (meaning Zahava, Ariella and I) will be going to the Military cemetery on Mount Herzl to help bury this young soldier among the other fallen heroes of Israel.   

Watching the terrible events of this past week unfold on the news I felt as though the sky was falling.  But now something far worse has happened; A neighbor's son... a classmate's brother... has fallen from the sky.

219_22_2

Posted by David Bogner on February 2, 2006 | Permalink

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I'm so very sorry to hear this. It seems like your community of Efrat has had so much more than its share of tragic loss of fine young people over this last year. I feel so much for this young man's parents in their grief. Please let them know that there are fellow Jews all over the world as well as in Israel who are thinking of them and send them our traditional wishes and prayers for comfort. I wish them long life. And also please tell Zahava and Ariella I am thinking of them too. May we all be spared all further sorrow.

Posted by: Judy | Feb 3, 2006 12:28:24 AM

David, that is sad to hear. Your family and your community will be in my thoughts & prayers.

Posted by: Steve Bogner | Feb 3, 2006 12:52:38 AM

Yes, I am very sorry too. I wish the family of that young soldier peace now in their time of sorrow. I will say a prayer for all of you tonight.

Posted by: Regina Clare Jane | Feb 3, 2006 3:35:21 AM

So very sorry to read about your loss. Please give Ari a big hug for me. My thoughts and prayers are with you all and with your community.

Posted by: Val | Feb 3, 2006 3:36:25 AM

So unbearable when young people die. Condolences to the family and your community.

Posted by: jg | Feb 3, 2006 4:33:11 AM

Baruch Dayan HaEmet

Posted by: Faye | Feb 3, 2006 4:51:50 AM

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. So sorry to hear this.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 3, 2006 5:31:18 AM

Baruch Dayan HaEmet. So sorry to hear this.

Posted by: Jack | Feb 3, 2006 5:31:47 AM

That's terrible. I'm sorry.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 3, 2006 6:33:07 AM

It's terrible news. After reading your blog post, I saw the article up on the Haaretz English Edition website. Having read your post, the article was more emotional for me. Thanks for that . . . and for giving me perspective about everything I have to be grateful for, first thing in the morning.

I feel so awful for the family. Baruch dayan ha-emet.

Posted by: Sarah | Feb 3, 2006 7:02:22 AM

My deepest sympathies, that's really terrible news. Every time I hear about another young soldier who has died in service of Israel, it never ceases to depress me. Young men and women lay their lives on the line on a daily basis to protect the land and people that are most dear to them... such dedication.

*sighs* My thoughts are with your community.

Posted by: matlabfreak | Feb 3, 2006 7:12:39 AM

Baruch Dayan Emet. Very very sad. How did Ari take the news?

Posted by: mcaryeh | Feb 3, 2006 8:11:11 AM

I'm so, so sorry. My thoughts are with you and with this poor soldier's family. My sincere condolescences.

Posted by: Irina | Feb 3, 2006 8:32:33 AM

David, I'm so very sorry. When I heard that the soldier was from Efrat, I thought of you right away. My condolences to the soldier's family, and to Zahava and Ariella.

Posted by: Rahel | Feb 3, 2006 8:38:33 AM

You don't know me but I read your blog sometimes, and I specifically checked today because I thought you might write about this. I also knew Yosef and your last line puts into words exactly what I was feeling but didn't know how to express. Thank you.

Posted by: Gila | Feb 3, 2006 9:03:11 AM

When I was a teenager (a long time ago) I knew of one kid killed in a car accident. That was my only "brush with death".

The teenagers in Israel, both because of service in the army (of older siblings and friends) and because of the terror of the past five years, are unfortunately intimately aware of funerals and loss.

I wonder sometimes how this will affect them long term.

Posted by: westbankmama | Feb 3, 2006 9:11:25 AM

That story brings tears...we should only hear good news from here on...

Posted by: Jewish Blogmeister | Feb 3, 2006 2:00:26 PM

I am so sorry, David, and so sorry that Ariella is growing up in this was as well. It's all so stupid and pointless, I wish we could spare the young ones, but they are not spared themselves. So, so sorry.

Posted by: Lioness | Feb 3, 2006 2:16:21 PM

How awful, the loss of a son and a friend. What a dreadful thing to have to talk to your kids about. I'm sorry.

Posted by: Lisoosh | Feb 3, 2006 4:38:18 PM

Baruch Dayan Ha-emet. So sorry for Ariella and your entire family and community.

Posted by: Essie | Feb 3, 2006 5:05:35 PM

I am so very sorry to hear this. May his memory be a blessing.

Posted by: Stacey | Feb 3, 2006 11:42:53 PM

OMG - Baruch Dayan Emes.

Posted by: Ezzie | Feb 7, 2006 8:21:45 AM

Thank you for an incredibly moving piece about a horrible tragedy:

"They Shall Grow not Old
As we who are left grow old
Age shall not weary them
Nor the Years Condemm
At the Going Down of the Sun
and in the Morning
We Will Remember Them"

-From Scotland's Memorial to her dead in the Great War,
1914-1918

Posted by: David All | Feb 9, 2006 12:57:54 AM

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