max by Shalom Pollack

It was a busy day for me today, yet another one that I doubt I will ever forget.

It began with almost running to the  radio to hear  what might have happened while  I was  asleep. Two more  precious  souls were  killed over night.
Along with over thirty thousands people I went  to the Mount  Herzl military cemetery  for a never to forget funeral.he never to forget funeral. Even as I rode the  tram ,I sensed that the bulging cars would empty out  at the Mt. Herzl station. From every corner, Jews of every stripe made their  silent way to be as  close  to where  Max Steinberg was being laid to rest.
Max was one of a number of  “lone soldiers” who have  fallen in battle in the last few days. Tens of thousands attended  two other  such funerals one in Haifa for a young man who came from Texas and  another in Ashkelon for a French  new comer.
All three were  brothers in arms in the army and country of  choice. All three had no family in Israel but  tens of thousands of their new family  could not be kept away. In Ashkelon is  one of those favorite  targets  of Hamas’s missiles. It did not keep  the new family away.
Max’s parents and two siblings  spoke. It was his parents’ first time in Israel.

His father opened by saying,”I am sure many of you are  asking yourselves the same question,”Do I regret Max’s decision to leave LA, make Israel his home, and join the IDF”? The answer is  a resounding no!” In LA he  was a very good kid. It wasn’t enough for him. He  wanted to  live for something. He  always  said , if you live for yourself you are not alive. If you live for others, you live again”

“He is  living again for all of us and always will”
Looking around at  the huge crowd, I learned once again the meaning of “Klal Yisroel”, The  People of Israel” There is no other like it.
My mind  wandered to the big philosophical questions about why do so many wish us ill, spread libels and try to kill us,…today and ..always..?
Looking around, the answer that came to mind today was…jealousy.
It’s as good  as  any of many other suggested reasons.

They know they  wont destroy us and this just  agitates  their sick souls even more. It is  hard to find logic in  neuroses.
These are the  kinds of thoughts  that nagged me as I stood among  thirty thousand beautiful souls on the  mountain that has received Max  today..and  so many before him..
From the funeral I took the tram to Neve Yaakov, the northern most neighborhood in Jerusalem. It is one of the poorer areas, where many new immigrants  find their first homes in Israel.
There  were  requests  for people to pay a condolence call  to an Ethiopian family whose son Moshe was killed in the  same armored vehicle as Max.
Both Golani fighters were defending their people when the Arab missile killed them together.

What in the  world  would  bring a Max from LA  and a Moshe  from Ethiopia  in the same armored vehicle  so far from their places of birth?
Am Yisroel.
Am Yisroel Chai! (the  people  of  Israel live!)
An  after thought;
I read on Al Jazeera  piece   by  Hanine Hassan, Phd candidate at Columbia.
She  revealed  to her readers that the  “lone Soldier” program of the IDF is yet another tool of Israeli genocide. It is  far more sinister than the phenomenon of Jihadis leaving their countries to fight the war of Islam in foreign lands.
If she is a Phd candidate in Colombia, she  must know…


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here