Israeli MIA's fellow soldier: Emotional and moving moment

Rabbi Baruch Vidar, head of Yeshivat HaKotel tells Arutz Sheva about the moment he heard about the return of  Zachary Baumel's body.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Harav Baruch Vider.
Harav Baruch Vider.
Chesky Baruch

Rabbi Baruch Vidar, head of Yeshivat HaKotel told Arutz Sheva about the moment he heard about the return of Zecharia Baumel's body to Israel on Wednesday. Rabbi Vidar served together with Baumel in the Lebanon War.

Baumel went missing during the Battle of Sultan Yaqub during the Lebanon War in 1982, along with fellow soldiers Tzvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz, who are still missing.

"It was an emotional and moving moment that's impossible to explain to someone who hasn't been involved," Rabbi Vidar said.

"We've been walking around for 37 years with feelings for those missing. We've been going to the memorial services of our friends that were killed on the day of the battle, on the 20th of Sivan (June 11), but some of our friends are still missing."

Rabbi Vidar told Arutz Sheva about his friendship with Baumel. "We served in the army together, we fought the enemy together. We were in Sinai together in the tank commanders' course, in the same platoon, in the same room. We repaired the tanks together during the nights. He was always the first to help out - he had a generosity of spirit that you don't see in everyone. He was a happy young man - energetic and always eager to help."

"Everyone is aware of the efforts his father made in order to gather every shred of information. He traveled all around this world for this purpose and to think that we're going to his funeral now," added Rabbi Weider painfully.

Rabbi Weider referred to the mixed emotions he felt when hearing the news. "We're in pain, we're crying, we're happy, exactly as I felt that night when I emerged from that battle in which I received my life as a gift from the Almighty. On one hand I was happy to be alive but on the other hand, I cried for my friends that were killed and those that were missing."

"The strength of the IDF and the state of Israel was demonstrated today. It's a privilege to be part of a nation that refuses to abandon even one soldier's body. I'm convinced that this is how it acts with the others who are missing as well," Weider concluded.