Let me tell you a story that will make you laugh, cry and be very proud of our people and especially of our IDF soldiers.
That’s the amount of time that Mindi Levine Gordon had not see her son Menachem. The Gordon family lives in Brooklyn NY but Menachem decided he was going to leave home for a while and serve in the IDF.
Around five months ago, I received a Facebook message from Tzipi Baraket who told me about a lone soldier serving in the Paratroopers unit who would be graduating sometime in March. We receive hundreds of calls from people about lone soldiers and I figured she wanted us to head out to the unit with the Standing Together truck and give them one of our legendary Standing Together IDF BBQs or perhaps she wanted me to supply the unit with gear.
Boy was I wrong and little did I know just what an awesome opportunity she was about to give us.
Tzipi asked if we would be able to fly the soldier’s mother in for his graduation ceremony and help reunite Mindi with her son. Without hesitation, we put out a Facebook post explaining the situation and within two hours (!!) we had tens of responses and enough sponsors to fly Mindi in to see her son Menachem.
Fast forward five months … I, together with Bet Shemesh’s legendary mother to all lone soldiers, Yehudis Schamroth, met Mindi at the airport as she came to Israel for the first time in her life! Let’s just say Mindi was at a loss for words and was excited beyond words knowing she would see her son after eighteen long months.
Menachem is serving in the 890 Paratroopers brigade and as hard as I tried to get in touch with him before the graduation ceremony, it was simply impossible. I did however speak to his commanders and only because Menachem is the modest person he is, I will not publicize the compliments his commanders were giving.
Every IDF infantry unit goes out on an all-night march the night before they earn their unit berets and we were told that at 4:00 am Menachem’s unit would be reaching Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem. I set my clock for 3:30 am but could not fall asleep out of pure excitement thinking about how awesome it was going to be to see this unbelievable meeting between a lone soldier and his mom.
We arrived at Ammunition Hill at around 4:30 and the streets were filled with exhausted but smiling IDF Paratroopers who were at the end of a 60 kilometer march with full gear on their backs. What an awesome sight to see the streets of Jerusalem packed with soldiers from the same legendary unit that liberated Jerusalem forty-eight years ago.
Can this get any better! A mother and son were about to be reunited and we are in the streets of Jerusalem with hundreds of soldiers! We walked and ran with the soldiers looking for Menachem, Mindi was catching her breath but I am not sure if it was because of the steep uphill walk or because of her excitement as she knew she was about to see her son.
WARNING! Have tissues on hand before hitting play!
Here are some AMAZING picture I took of Israel’s heroes!
CLICK on any of the pictures to show your support!
I want to thank Menachem Mendel for his personal sacrifice and his entire unit and all IDF soldiers for standing guard and protecting Israel. I want to thank Mindi for giving us the opportunity to make a difference and I want to thank all those that helped, donated and sponsored this amazing act of Chessed!