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The Story of Yuval Harel

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  • The Story of Yuval Harel

    Translated from Hebrew

    Yuval Harel, a soldier in the IDF Armored Corps, was killed in Operation Peace for Galilee on June 8, 1982. His parents, Miriam and Yehezkel, lived in Jerusalem's Talpiyot neighborhood. IN the same neighborhood lived another Harel family, who also had a son named Yuval. The other Yuval served with the Nahal in Kibbutz Lochamei Hagetaot, enlisted and also fought in Peace for Galilee.

    On Thursday, June 9, 1982, Miriam and Yehezkel, Yuval the tankers' parents, received word that their son had been killed in the war. The funeral was held on Friday at the Mt. Herzl cemetery, and many of the other Yuval's friends also showed up. They came because the radio announced that "Yuval Harel from Jerusalem" was killed and they assumed it was their friend from the Nahal.

    The bereaved parents, Yehezkel and Miriam, noticed that many people that had nothing to do with their son had showed up to the funeral, and wondered if perhaps the body was mistakenly identified. After a quick inquiry was made, it was determined that it truly was their son, and the funeral proceeded.

    However, on that same day, June 10, 1982, the other Yuval, son of Yossi and Chaya, was also killed in Lebanon. Yossi, Yuval's father, was serving as an intelligence officer, and was driven home from Lebanon. At the same time, officers came to their house and told Chaya, Yossi's wife, the news about their son being killed.

    Chaya assumed that the officers had been confused. She told them that a Yuval Harel had been killed, but it wasn't her son, it was Miriam and Yehezkel's son. She referred them to a house on the other side of the neighborhood, but they told her that it was no mistake, and that their Yuval Harel had also been killed.

    After hearing the news, Yossi and Chaya's friends, Maggie and Shalom Bashar, arrived at their house. Their son, Sefi, served together with Yossi and Chaya's Yuval. The two had grown up together and joined the Nahal together. When they heard that Yuval Harel from the Nahal had been killed, they came to Yossi and Chaya's house to be with them.

    Maggie thought that it might have been a mistake, for how could Yuval be killed without their son, Sefi, or someone else, letting them know? What they didn't know was that Sefi had also been killed.

    Yossi Harel, who was an intelligence officer, was in contact with the city officers. That very same day, he was given word that Sefi was also killed, but he couldn't tell Maggie and Shalom anything, because they hadn't been notified yet. And so, Maggie and Shalom sat with their mourning friends, Yossi and Chaya Harel, when the Harel's knew that Sefi was no longer alive, but couldn't tell Maggie and Shalom.

    Yuval's funeral was to be held on Sunday, and that morning the officers were given the official notification that Sefi was killed, and went to tell Maggie and Shalom the news. Yossi Harel tells that that very morning the officers tried to find Maggie and Shalom, but couldn't find them. Yossi told the officers that they could find Maggie and Shalom at Yuval's funeral.

    At the funeral, the officers approached Yossi Harel and asked him to point out Sefi's parents. The officer's approached Maggie and Shalom and asked to talk with them privately for a minute, where they were told about their son's death. "I won't ever forget their cries" Yossi says. Maggie and Shalom wouldn't leave the funeral and insisted on staying with Yossi and Chaya.

    At the funeral, the mourning parents, the Harels and the Bashars, walked together. At the end of the funeral, Maggie, the newly bereaved mother, "invited" everyone to her son's funeral the next day. On that very same day, 16 other funerals were also held at the Mt. Herzl cemetery. Maggie Bashar approached the person in charge and asked him to "skip over" one grave, the one next to Yuval, and to leave it for her son. The next day Sefi's funeral was held, and he was buried next to his friend, Yuval.

    Approximately one year later, the phone in Yossi Harel's house rang. The speaker identified himself as Avi Harel. The two didn't know one another. Avi told Yossi that he had two sons and was very touched by the story of both Yuval Harels, and decided that if he had another son, he would also name him Yuval. Avi Harel did have a third son, and he invited Yossi, to the new boy's circumcision.

    Yossi Harel came to the circumcision and was the new Yuval Harel's godfather.
    Yuval Harel, Yuval Harel and Sefi Bashar are merely three out of the 23,085 IDF soldiers that gave their lives to protect and defend Israel. Today and tomorrow we bow our heads in silence as the country stands still and hears the mournful wail of the siren, remembering our fallen.

    Every year on Memorial Day I think of two names: Ari Weiss, a childhood friend that was several years older than me, who died in Nablus in 2002, protecting a wounded mate from a sniper's bullets, and Yonatan (Yoni) Sharabi, a friend from my own unit, who was in the tank next to me in Lebanon. Yoni was killed when he was hit by an anti-tank missile in Southern Lebanon. Tomorrow I will go to his grave with the rest of the members of my company, and then on to his family's house. Tomorrow night will already be Israel's 65th Independence Day, but even as we celebrate, we will still have the bitter taste in our mouths and the sad feeling in the pits of our stomachs, as we remember those that can no longer celebrate with us, but who with their blood bought us the right and the ability to celebrate our freedom.
    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

    Abusing Yellow is meant to be a labor of love, not something you sell to the highest bidder.

  • #2
    I know the feeling dude. Every 15th August, while my nation celeberates our Independence Day, I remember a dear friend and my former coy cdr, it is his birthday and the next day, 16th August is his death anniversary. I drink a toast to him with his favorite drink - Old Monk rum, and send an SMS to his wife that she and the children are in my prayers.

    Cheers!...on the rocks!!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by bigross86 View Post
      Yuval Harel, Yuval Harel and Sefi Bashar are merely three out of the 23,085 IDF soldiers that gave their lives to protect and defend Israel. Today and tomorrow we bow our heads in silence as the country stands still and hears the mournful wail of the siren, remembering our fallen.
      92 additional names were added to the list of Israel's fallen this year.... Hayalim Kedoshim. According to the Ministry of Defense, there are 17,553 bereaved families of security personnel in Israel, 2,324 orphans, and 4,964 widows of the Israel Defense Forces and the defense establishment.

      On this Day of Remembrance, Israel also crossed the 8 million population threshold. 70% of the Israeli population is now native born compared to 35% in 1948. Back in 1948, Tel Aviv was the only city in Israel with more than 100,000 inhabitants. Today, there are 14 such cities and six of those have over 200,000 residents. Shalom uvíracha leYisrael.
      sigpic

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      • #4
        Present Arms.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lemontree View Post
          I know the feeling dude. Every 15th August, while my nation celeberates our Independence Day, I remember a dear friend and my former coy cdr, it is his birthday and the next day, 16th August is his death anniversary. I drink a toast to him with his favorite drink - Old Monk rum, and send an SMS to his wife that she and the children are in my prayers.
          Sir our gratitude and respect.

          All me and my friends have raised old monk glasses and are saluting.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bigross86 View Post
            Yuval Harel, Yuval Harel and Sefi Bashar are merely three out of the 23,085 IDF soldiers that gave their lives to protect and defend Israel. Today and tomorrow we bow our heads in silence as the country stands still and hears the mournful wail of the siren, remembering our fallen.

            Every year on Memorial Day I think of two names: Ari Weiss, a childhood friend that was several years older than me, who died in Nablus in 2002, protecting a wounded mate from a sniper's bullets, and Yonatan (Yoni) Sharabi, a friend from my own unit, who was in the tank next to me in Lebanon. Yoni was killed when he was hit by an anti-tank missile in Southern Lebanon. Tomorrow I will go to his grave with the rest of the members of my company, and then on to his family's house. Tomorrow night will already be Israel's 65th Independence Day, but even as we celebrate, we will still have the bitter taste in our mouths and the sad feeling in the pits of our stomachs, as we remember those that can no longer celebrate with us, but who with their blood bought us the right and the ability to celebrate our freedom.
            Bigross sir you are fighting the good fight. Salute to you and your fallen mates.

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