Yom HaZikaron, Remembering The Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror (Photo Essay)

By BJLIfe/Sharon Altshul
Posted on 05/13/24

Jerusalem, Israel - May 13, 2024 - One of the fiercest battles of the Six-Day War was at Ammunition Hill (גִּבְעַת הַתַּחְמֹשֶׁת, Giv'at HaTachmoshet) on the western slope of Mount Scopus. It was the site of  Ammunition Hill, now a national memorial site, where a special ceremony was conducted in English for the evening of Yom HaZikaron 5784. 

The Michael Levin Base Memorial program began with the lowering of the Israeli flag by Norman Blaustein and the lighting of a torch by Mark and Harriet Levin, parents of Michael H "yd for whom the organization is named. 

The Michael Levin Base, founded in 2020, services lone IDF soldiers and lone B'nei Sherut, those volunteering to do national service from Israel and overseas without family support. 

Nine hundred people stood silently during the memorial siren in the open amphitheater on the cold evening of Sunday, May 12, 2024, at 8:00 pm as the sky darkened.

Rabbi Leo Dee, whose wife and daughters were murdered last year by terrorists, recited the Yizkor and Kaddish to begin the program. Later in the evening,  he spoke as husband and father of Lucy, Maia, and Rina Dee H"yd, as often encouragingly, to smile and chose to live. 

During Efraim Abrams's powerful speech remembering those lost, photos and information of fallen soldiers were projected on the screen used as a background. 

Coming from the US, Robin Lubin, mother of Rose Lubin H"yd, murdered security patrol officer and lone soldier, spoke eloquently about her daughter's life and heroism.

The parents of kidnapped hostage Omer Neutra, Orna and Ronen Neutra were seen in a short video talking about their son before speaking and reciting a prayer on behalf of all the hostages for their return.

Former lone soldier, Dr. Tuvia Book has often spoken at lone soldier events, but this time he was in uniform, as he is serving as a reservist on the front lines. The rapid evacuation of the injured to medical facilities has greatly reduced the death rate as this war goes into its seventh month.

Musical interludes, the Keil Maleh by Ezra Amichai, and closing remarks by Richard Corman, Chairman of the Board of the Michael Levin Base were followed by an IDF Rabbinical Choir singing the Prayer for the Israel Defense Forces and Hatikvah.

Among the 900 guests in the live audience were former Ambassador Michael Oren, Rabbi JJ Shachter and Yocheved Shachter, Rabbi Avi Berman, Rabbi Elan Adler, and Rivka Lambert Adler, and the Yom HaZikaron Memorial Committee that included Tammy Berman, Carol Goldberg, Ruth-Malca Javasky, Judith Pieperz, Kathy Poodiack, and Leah Weinberger.

The Michael Levin Base, supported by the Michael Levin Foundation in the US, and led by co-directors Lizzie Noach and Bonnie Rosenbaum, provided the English-speaking community with a meaningful program to feel the loss, but hope for the future and pride of those who lost their lives in defense of the land of Israel.