Monday, April 19, 2010

Roi Klein, Hero of Israel

In honor of Yom Ha'Atzmaut and Yom Hazikaron (Israel Independence Day and Memorial Day), I wanted to highlight the story of one particular soldier: Roi Klein, deputy commander of the Golani Brigade 51st Battalion. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor, Israel's highest award. During the Second Lebanon War in 2006, Klein was killed when he jumped onto a grenade in order to save the lives of his fellow soldiers. Before sacrificing his body, this quiet, gentle man cried out: "Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad" - Hear O Israel, The Lord is Our God, The Lord is One:

Roi Klein's ahavat yisrael was literal; he loved the land of Israel and he loved the Jewish people. While he was fighting the very worst of humanity, he represented the very best of humanity. And while the enemy he was fighting routinely used their bodies to kill innocent people, he used his body to save innocent people.

Roi Klein died in a selfless act for fellow Jews. Although we may never reach his level of heroism, let's live our lives by doing selfless acts for fellow Jews in his memory. Let's also not forget his wife, Sarah, and two children, Gilad and Yoav, who were left behind. May they - and we - live to see the day when there is true, God-given peace in Israel.

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