What greater tribute could there be to memorialize the life of a young Jewish hero than the dedication of a sefer Torah?Talmidim at Rambam Mesivta have undertaken this project in order to pay tribute to Sean Carmeli, a lone soldier who fell fighting for the IDF, who was born in South Padre Island, Texas.

During a special assembly, Rambam students were riveted as they heard Or Carmeli, Sean’s sister, describe her beloved brother’s life and legacy. Sean, later known as Nissim after he made aliyah, was a member of the Golani Brigade and was killed in Gaza City on July 20 when his armored personnel carrier was struck by a Hamas anti-tank missile. According to his sister, Or, “He lived his life as a proud Jew and died as a proud Jew defending our people.”

When funeral arrangements were made there was no way to tell how many people would attend to pay their last respects. After all, he was a lone soldier with very few social connections in Israel. In a national outpouring of solidarity and grief and in recognition of the tremendous sacrifice that Nissim made, 20,000 people turned out to pay tribute to this young hero.

To further memorialize his life and sacrifice, a project was undertaken to write a sefer Torah in his memory. Rabbi Uri Dopelt heads an organization, Oz ve’Hadar, whose specific purpose is to provide sifreiTorah to IDF bases. Rambam students will be working closely with him for the anticipated dedication which will take place sometime this year.

According to rosh mesivta Rabbi Zev Meir Friedman, “The importance of having a sefer Torah on each army base reinforces the message that the Jewish people are united by Torah, despite different levels of religious observance. Having one dedicated to the memory of a fallen victim of Tzahal makes that dedication all the more meaningful. We are honored that Rabbi Dopelt and Or spoke to our talmidim and we are proud that our boys have undertaken this very special project.”


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