By: Ari Fuld
Every nation has their heroes but when it comes to Israel and the IDF, there is a certain behavioral DNA that all IDF heroes share. Israel is a country that has a population of just over 8 million people spread across an area that is smaller than the State of NY.
The State of Israel is surrounded by Islamic and Arab countries that outnumber and outsize the little Jewish State by a hundredfold and the majority of them see the destruction of Israel as a positive event.
While each of the surrounding Arab countries can afford major casualties in war, Israel’s army is already at a major disadvantage when it comes to manpower, and aside from the obvious personal tragedy families endure when their loved ones die in the line of duty, every IDF soldier killed is a major loss on a tactical level for the small IDF. It is for exactly this reason why Israel is spending billions on defense weapons like the Iron Dome while our enemies are spending the same on offensive weapons. Our objective is to protect while our enemies’ objective is to destroy.
While the need to stay alive is certainly important, there is another objective that takes priority and that is protecting Israel. From the time an IDF soldier drafts till the time he finishes ‘Miluim’ (IDF reserve duty), he is always serving with the same soldiers. The trust and bond that develops between these men who serve together is stronger than anything I can describe. Many IDF soldiers are husbands, fathers and sisters, but in uniform the only family and responsibility they have is to the other soldiers in the unit and to the State of Israel.
3 IDF Heroes You Should Know About
Born in 1947 in Tel Aviv, David Shirazi drafted to the legendary Golani brigade in 1965. Two years later the Six-Day war broke out and the Golani unit was responsible for the safety of the Northern border. Private David Shirazi was part of the assault team that had to climb up the 100m rigged slope under heavy Syrian mortar and machine gun fire to reach the barbed wire fence. Wire cutters would have taken too long so Shirazi threw himself over the wire and told his comrades to use his body as a bridge. After the last soldier got through he untangled himself and ran after them and took a front line position to help with the operation against the Syrian assault post.
Although injured from the barbed wire, Shirazi continued to supply mortar rockets to the units gunner. When they ran out of mortar rockets, Shirazi along with his commander and a soldier who was armed with an M-60 machine gun charged the Syrian post in order to stop the missile fire on the Northern Kibbutzim. The M-60 gunner was hit by gun fire and was killed and it was then that Shirazi grabbed the machine gun and continued on his own to charge the Syrian attack post and successfully took out several missile launching pads before being hit by sniper fire. David Shirazi was killed in action and in April 1973 was posthumously awarded Israel’s most prestigious medal, the Medal of Valor and given the title Hero of Israel. David Shirazi’s story is told till this day to new recruits of the Golani brigade as an example of bravery and unit camaraderie.
Roi Klein was born to Aharon and Shoshana Klein on July 10th, 1975 and spent his childhood in Raanana, Israel. Klein studied industrial engineering and management at Ariel University and graduated with honors. Roi lived in the Hayovel community near the Eli town in a house he built on his own and was happily married to Sara and was father to Gilad (3) and Yoav (1).
Roi began his IDF service in the Elite Paratroopers brigade but later transferred to Golani’s elite reconnaissance Egoz unit. Already in 2002 Roi was awarded a Chief of Staff Citation for his conduct during an ambush near Nablus in which his unit took out five Islamic terrorists.
In 2006 Klein was the deputy commander of the Golani brigade as they joined the second Lebanon War. His unit was fighting Hizbollah terrorists in the village of Bint Jbeil, Lebanon when a Hizbollah terrorist threw a grenade over the wall that was separating Klein’s unit from the terrorists. One has only 3-4 seconds before a grenade explodes and without thinking, Roi screamed “GRENADE!” and then threw himself on top of the grenade in order to save his unit. In his last seconds of life Roi found the courage and strength to shout the prayer “Shema Yisrael” (Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, The Lord is One) before throwing himself on the grenade that would have killed and injured many from his unit. Unlike Israel’s enemies, Roi was not praising God before killing others but rather stating his firm belief in God before saving others. Roi died a day before his 31st birthday and his funeral was on Thursday (July 27, 2006), the day he would have turned 31. Roi was awarded the IDF Medal Of Courage for his action in the Lebanon War.
While most IDF heroes are discovered during wars and operations, Yosef Goodman was killed during a secret paratroopers exercise. Although Yosef died at the young age of 21, his friends, family and platoon mates recognized his heroism and greatness in whatever he did. Goodman, a star player in the Israeli Football League and a decorated soldier in the Elite MAGLAN unit, personafied the perfect example of an IDF hero.
In 2006 Goodman’s unit was called up to perform an exercise that was classified as top secret and during the jump Yosef’s heroism emerged in full force. Yosef was the third to jump from the Hercules plane and his parachute became entangled with his commander’s foot. As they twisted out of control, falling towards the ground, Yosef cut himself loose in order to save his commander’s life and did not have sufficient time to open up his reserve parachute.
Goodman’s parents, Anne and Mordechai made Aliyah in 1989 and raised their nine children in the town of Efrat. Yosef’s death literally turned their world upside down and although siblings of fallen soldiers are not allowed to draft into infantry units without permission from their parents, Anne and Mordechai were proud to sign any forms needed as their other sons drafted into elite IDF units.
Watch this amazing report about the Goodmans and you will understand that Yosef’s heroism does not fall far from the tree.
There is a common thread that connects all IDF heroes – they have all put themselves in danger and have given their lives in order to save lives. While many of Israel’s enemies sanctify death and those that cause it, we in Israel sanctify life and our heroes are made because they put their lives in danger in order to save yours.
Standing Together Winter Gear Campaign
Here is your chance to show your appreciation for all the heroes of the IDF. Standing Together is in the height of our Winter Gear campaign and we have received hundreds of calls from officers who are in command of thousands of soldiers. They have asked for winter gear and we have already supplied thousands of winter gear packs but we are still short.
We have over 2,000 soldiers serving right now in Northern Israel and we want to get them winter gear that will keep them warm and fully operational even in the coldest weather. We are looking for sponsors for individual soldiers and even for full units. Each winter pack costs $100 and we have thousands of soldiers we need to get to.
Please click on the Donate button below or fill out the brief form below to help keep IDF soldiers warm this winter.
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