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Machal memorial service at Sha’ar Hagai for Yom Hazikaron

This year our MC “First Lady” Zippy Porath was joined by Nitza Saphir, daughter of the late Yaakov Kleiner, a Machalnik from Argentina, to MC our Memorial Service.

Our bugler Larry Brandt trumpeted the “Taps” while Tzemach Bloomberg (SA 1956 Machal) lowered the flag.  Bob Margolese (Canada) and Meir Haberman (Argentina) lit the eternal flame and Mike Amir (Australia) and Roger Mendelzweig (France) laid the wreath on behalf of World Machal.

As he does every year, Major Yoel Levi laid a wreath on behalf of the IDF.  He also arranged as always, the Guard of Honour of soldiers currently serving in Zahal.

The Names of the Fallen and country of origin were read by Dorothy Mandelzweig (widow of the late Gordon Mandelzweig, SA), Hymie Goldblatt (SA), Hymie Josman (SA), Ron Simon (grandson of Smoky and Myra Simon, currently serving in the Navy), and Gideon Ben-Amar, (son of Ruth Stern SA).

Ruth Stern (SA) read the story of Hans Katzenstein, a Machalnik from Berlin, Germany, who fell in his first battle on 17th July 1948.  Nitza Saphir read the story in Hebrew.

Ruth Stern and Telfed CEO Dorron Kline

Our devoted Rabbi Judith Edelman-Green addressed the service (click here to read the speech), followed by Yizkor, El Maaleh Rachamim and Kaddish.  Nava Tehilla Walker, granddaughter of  US Machalnik Philip Levine, sang the song “Shir Ha’Re’ut” (Song of Comradeship)  accompanying herself on the guitar.  

Fourteen children from the 9th grade of the Branco Weiss School in Beit Shemesh read to the audience both in English and Hebrew, chosen quotations relating to sacrifice. The formal part of the ceremony ended with Nava Tehilla Walker leading the audience in the singing of Hatikva.

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Elisha Mizrachi

Elisha Mizrachi brought greetings from our long-term sponsors, the KKL.  He read out excerpts from David Ben-Gurion’s speeches.  He ended his greetings with the story about a 12 year-old girl who was brought over by the Ma’apilim on one of the Aliyah Bet ships which avoided the British blockade.  She was brought up by an adopted family in Israel.  This 12 year-old was Elisha’s mother.  At this year’s ceremony he was happy to have met and talked to Murray Greenfield of Aliyah Bet.

Dorron Kline, CEO of Telfed (the South African Zionist Federation) brought greetings from Telfed.  He spoke about how death and mourning are not mentioned in the Kaddish but rather magnifying and glorifying God’s name.  When an individual passes on, God’s glory is diminished.  We recognize that and say Yitgadal” (may God’s name be glorified again).  How?  By the work we do in the world, such as the Machalniks did in 1948 and subsequently.

To conclude this year’s Memorial Service, Smoky Simon, now 97 years old, Chairman of World Machal, offered thanks to all those who had assisted in the organization of the Ceremony this year, including in particular, Mark Goldblatt, son of South African Machalnik Hymie Goldblatt, who provided IDF assistance.

After the ceremony, Smoky Simon spoke to the 10 soldiers currently serving in the IDF, who were the Guard of Honour, about Machal and the Air Force. 

 Joe Woolf told his personal Machal story to the 30 schoolchildren from BrancoWeiss School.

Article written by Doreen Bliss.

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