By: Yael Wornovitzky
On November 9, I had the opportunity to go with the Machon le Madrichim to the funeral of Rose Lubin, a chayelet bodeda (a Lone Soldier in Israel, who was not obligated to go to the army, but came from another country to do so).
When I told my mom that I was going, she told me that it was a very nice initiative and asked if they were also sending men to complete the minian, because we thought there were going to be so few people that we were not sure if we would even reach 10 men.
There are no words to express how surprised I was to see more than 700 people gathered to bury Rose.
Being at the funeral was being surrounded by people who for the most part did not know Rose, but were there to show togetherness, support and empathy.
While there, I asked the madricha who accompanied us, “why do so many people come to this burial and not to the burial of the other victims of this war?” She answered me that first of all, there are many people who do go to all the funerals or most of them and secondly, that the reason why so many people went is because she was” chayelet bodeda”, she told me that we were there gathered to demonstrate that a Jew is NEVER going to be alone, all those people were there demonstrating that all the Jews of the world are one family, and that when one dies we are all in mourning. She ended by saying that Rose gave her life to protect us and now it is Israel’s turn to protect her.
Being at the funeral was impressive. I listened to the speeches of the immediate family, of the adoptive family that received her in Israel, of the commander of her unit, of the rabbi of her hometown and I understood that each of the people who have died in the past month and each of the kidnapped people has a story, family and has all those people who will be giving the same speeches and that what I experienced that day, has happened more than 1400 times since October 7.
It hurts a lot to know that each one of those people kidnapped or killed chose to be in Israel, chose to protect this country and in many cases, chose to be Jewish, and those decisions are what led each person to be as they are and the most impressive part is that, I can assure you, that none of the people who died or are in the hands of Hamas, regrets or would change anything.
To be in Israel at this time is to demonstrate that. It is to understand that we are in a war and that our very existence is at risk. To be in Israel at this time is the ultimate expression of modern Zionism. For me to be in Israel today is to demonstrate that our Judaism, our history and our essence is what drives us to defend our legacy and our future.
Being part of a Jewish-Zionist movement as Hanoar Hatzioni is, shows that; it shows the pride and hope we have with Israel. Today and always we will stand with our heads held high, shouting with pride and strength “I am a Jew” and defending our ideology above all.
“Every man has a name” Zelda