A Sister´s Eulogy

At the funeral of Yehuda Greenfeld, his sister eulogized him by calling on soldiers to refuse orders.

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Ezra HaLevi , | updated: 15:33

At the funeral of Yehuda Greenfeld, one of the reservists killed by a Katyusha on Sunday, his sister eulogized him by calling on soldiers to refuse to die in the "War for a Peaceful Realignment."

Greenfeld, a 27-year-old father of two, was called up for reserve duty despite an injured shoulder. His family now faces the prospect of being forcibly removed from its home due to their location "behind" the Partition Wall - the third bereaved family in such a position since the start of the Re-Engagement War.

 

From left, Yehuda's mother-in-law, mother, wife Gavriella, sister-in-law and sister, Shoshi.
The Greenfelds weep over the box holding their beloved son, grandson, husband and brother.
Yehuda's father recites kaddish as an honor guard stands by.

Yehuda's sister, an outspoken Land of Israel activist and one of the founders of the Ta Katom (Orange Cell) anti-expulsion student movement, began her outburst at the very start of the funeral, demanding the departure of IDF Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss, who oversaw the exhumation of the bodies in Gush Katif's cemetery and remained at his post as IDF Chief Rabbi despite calls from his teachers to resign.

She later took the podium and, with eyes red from tears, delivered the following address:
 

Click "play" below to watch a video clip of Shoshi Greenfeld delivering her eulogy (Hebrew).
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“Yehuda'leh, my dear, loving, innocent brother, with your large azure eyes, your sweet disposition and your delicate soul. I will yet tell the story of your life, of your beauty. But at this time, I am choosing to tell the story of your death.

“In our final telephone conversation I said to you: 'Don't go to be cannon fodder. Olmert said that the operation is a preparation for his ‘Realignment’ Plan [to destroy most of the Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria unilaterally, as was done in Gush Katif and the Northern Shomron one year ago -ed.]. Come home. You have a historic opportunity to refuse, so that the pogrom of Gush Katif will not return upon your own home in Michmas [the Binyamin-region community where Yehuda lived -ed.].
 

Yehuda and Shoshi's grandmother

"Come home!' I said to you, 'so that the retreats from Lebanon and from Gush Katif that brought us all this death, will end. So that the pogromchiks in the black uniforms that reminded our grandmother of Auschwitz - those who banished us from Gush Katif and cracked our skulls in Amona - won't arrive at your sweet home in Michmas as well, after the fighting ends with some sham cease-fire, and throw you and your family out of your home, and the remains of your garden be transformed into a training ground for murderers – leading to more murder and more killing.'

“You listened to me in your usual sensitive manner. And I added: 'This is a war for the sake of nothing. For the sake of the elites who rule the country. They are carrying out a crime,' I told you. 'Please don’t go,' I begged. 'This war is because of that expulsion [from Gaza and northern Samaria -ed.]. They expel us, and then send us to fight a war that they created - in order to expel us again - because we always return and we fight and die for them.'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outgoing IDF Chief Rabbi Yisrael Weiss stands next to Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yonah Metzger as the coffin is being unloaded from an IDF transport vehicle.

“'I agree with you,' you said to me, 'but I can't. It isn't me. I don't like to be in the center of matters, to create a scene.'

“And you went, my beloved, sweet brother.

“For those in the black uniforms who came to expel Gush Katif, they built orderly camps with the best facilities, because there is a new war in Israel, the war on the settlers. But you, my dear brother, they abandoned under the sky, exposed to the barrage of Katyushas.

“And what does Olmert care? Or the dictators? They know that they won't pay the price for their crimes. Their children refuse to serve in the army. They won't pay for their crimes – we pay!

“In the end, you came home, my dear brother, cannon fodder in a coffin, in the war for the sake of nothing, the War for a Peaceful ‘Realignment’...

“I am pleading, before all your friends and before all of the orange fighters: Come home now, before you come back in a box, and then will come those with the black uniforms to evict your widows and children. Don't fool yourselves into thinking they will protect them because you were killed. I was in Gush Katif and in Amona.

“I have no illusions that the pogromchiks will spare Gavriella, your widow, or sweet Raaya and Ron, your orphans...

Yehuda's mother and widow

“Return home, soldiers – I am begging you. Before those in the black uniforms turn your house, too, into a pile of rubble and a base for the next murderers.

 

“It pains me, my beloved brother. They will say that this is a cynical use of tragedy - but the truth is that they are making cynical use of your death, for the next pogrom. Rest in peace, I am certain you are beneath G-d's throne of glory. My good brother. Shake the throne of glory so that there will be no more needless deaths, so that this dictatorship won't bring us more widows and orphans! So that they will open their eyes, my dear brother with the azure eyes. So your rabbis will open their eyes and say ‘We will lead' – to prevent the expulsion of your widow.

"This is an unnecessary death! There was Operation Defensive Shield, which was just a prelude to the Gaza expulsion, and now there is this war, a prelude to the next expulsion. We must wake up! Refuse! Refuse! Come home before you are sent home in a box!"

Yehuda's fellow soldiers carry him to his final resting place on Jerusalem's Mt. Herzl military cemetery.
Jewish Leadership founder Moshe Feiglin expresses his support to Shoshi for her actions.
Yehuda was active in helping new immigrants from Ethiopia with their acclimation upon arrival in the Holy Land. Many who benefited from his warmth were present at the funeral.

The call for refusal in the current war has thus far not gained much popularity, despite PM Olmert's statements saying it would give "momentum" for his convergence plan. Only Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) and Women in Green have supported it. The Yesha Rabbinic Council issued a statement saying that the current war falls under the rubric of "If one comes to slay you, slay him first," and should not be a subject of refusal.

Avi Abelow, a resident of Efrat who picked up and left his reserve unit following Prime Minister Olmert's statements, s[eaks with fellow reservists after the funeral.

(Photos: Ezra HaLevi)





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