Sunday, June 24, 2012

Remembering Zechariah Baumel - 30 Years Later

The cover of VOICES Magazine this month features a photo by noted photographer Gershon Ellinson of Mrs. Miriam Baumel. 
Thirty years after her son Zachariah Baumel left Yeshivat Har Etzion for reserve duty in the Lebanon War in 1982, Mrs. Baumel returned to Har Etzion, sat in his place in the Bet Midrash, and then spoke to students about her son, a Missing-in-Action soldier, and recalled his connection to his hesder Yeshiva.
Zechariah was captured during the battle of Sultan Yacoub, Lebanon, along with Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman on June 11, 1982, just hours before the declaration of a cease-fire. The three are still missing, as is pilot Ron Arad.
Over the years, Mrs. Baumel and her late husband, o’h, traveled the world, following every clue that might lead to information about their son and his fellow MIAs.
In a country where every family is related to a soldier or two or four, we all look at young people in uniform as our own. 
Since the Israeli government went to every length to gain the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Schalit, we hope they’ve been working ceaselessly for Arad, Katz, Feldman and Baumel. We pray that Israel continues to pursue their freedom. And we pray for their salvation.

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