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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Only in Israel: About 20,000 Attend Funeral of Sean Carmeli, HaYa"D, Lone Soldier

Sean Carmeli, HaYa"D
cross-posted on me-ander

Yesterday morning we read about the lone soldier from the small Texas town nobody had ever heard of who had been killed in Gaza trying to destroy the Hamas terror infrastructure, Sean Carmeli. Later in the day, emails and facebook messages kept arriving in Hebrew and in English asking that people come to his funeral.

Israel values all of its soldiers; they are our children. Israeli kids are raised knowing that after high school they will be drafted. (I'm not getting into the chareidi draft issue here.) Religious girls frequently take the option to do Sherut Le'umi, National Service and volunteer in all sorts of places, schools, hospitals, memorials etc. Young men who are exempt for various medical reasons quite often petition the IDF to be accepted as official soldier volunteers and get positions suitable for them.

And then there are the new immigrants and foreign IDF volunteers who come to Israel either just to serve or knowing that their choice to be Israeli means that they will be drafted and serve in the army without a mother waiting at home to do their laundry and make sure there's hot food for them. They are the true idealists, and Sean Carmeli was one of them.

When an Israeli born and raised IDF soldier is killed, his funeral is attended by his family, childhood friends of all members, fellow students and those from the neighborhood and more. Funerals here for whomever, no matter what the reason of death, are usually humongous. Here in Shiloh, a small funeral, quickly arranged on a Friday before Shabbat can have a minimum of fifty to a hundred people, and the larger more public funerals, like the triple one for the three teenagers murdered by Arab terrorists a few weeks ago are attended by hundreds of thousands. Compare that to a very recent funeral in New Jersey for a policeman killed, Fallen Jersey City Police Detective Melvin Santiago laid to rest.
JERSEY CITY - The Jersey City police officer who was shot and killed while responding to a report of an armed robbery was laid to rest today.
Hundreds of police officers from around New Jersey and surrounding states came to St. Aloysius Church to pay their final respects to Melvin Santiago. 
IDF Staff Sgt. Sean Carmeli was laid to rest accompanied, honored by about 20,000 people.

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HaMakom yenachem...
May G-d comfort his family and friends

5 comments:

yitz said...

I was very moved by this turnout, but I would like to add more details here:
The inspiration for the large turnout was from the Maccabi Haifa SOCCER team fans:
According to Ha'aretz, "Carmeli...became a passionate supporter of the Maccabi Haifa soccer team and attended games whenever he could. When a picture of him draped in the team flag surfaced on social media, team officials urged fans to attend the funeral. “We have a huge request of you all,” they wrote on their Facebook page and in WhatsApp messages. “Come and pay final respects to a hero who died so that we can live. It’s the least we can do for him and for our people.” The team also chartered buses to return mourners to back to the city center.
Indeed, Arutz-7's headline was:
Soccer Fans to Flood Lone Soldier's Funeral, and they add this: "A lone soldier from South Padre Island, Texas, Carmeli was born to a secular Israeli family which along with him, became more religious over the past several years. Named for his grandfather on his mother's side, Carmeli, 21, was studying in a Jerusalem yeshiva before joining the IDF. He had been given the opportunity to avoid service in Gaza because of a foot injury, but insisted on going anyway."
Yehi zichro Baruch - May his memory be Blessed!

Batya Medad said...

yitz, thanks for the additional info

yitz said...

One more interesting tidbit, from YWN:
"An American lawyer, David Shaked, passed two Chareidim as he tried entering the cemetery walls. He asked them, why they thought there were so many people who came to a Lone Soldier’s funeral? They answered him simply, “Am Yisrael.”
The clear implication was, “What kind of question are you asking? This is what the nation of Israel is all about!”

Anonymous said...

ה׳ יקים דמו

Batya Medad said...

אמן