There's not a person who doesn't remember the huge funeral of Sean Carmeli, HY"D, the lone soldier from Texas who fell in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.
Tens of thousands of people who had never met him attended Sean's funeral, including thousands of his favorite soccer group's fans.
Sean was a gentle person and a Zionist in every sense of the word. During the enlistment process for the IDF, Sean told his mother, "If I'm not going to be a combat soldier, I'm not going to the army. I need to do something significant." And so it was - Sean enlisted in the most combat-oriented brigade - the Golani Brigade.
Sean's family was completely broken when he was killed, and felt strongly the huge loss of jhis presence. But they never expected the phone call from Oz Vehadar, with its exciting news: Donors from abroad, who they didn't even know, had decided to donate a Torah scroll from Romania in honor of their son.
The Torah scroll has been through many incarnations - it was written before the Holocaust, and has since been fixed by Oz Vehadar scribes.
The Carmeli family became very emotional, appreciating the enormous gesture, and a dedication ceremony was scheduled for an IDF base located on the Israel-Lebanon border. A day before the dedication, the IDF informed the family that the event could not be held, since rockets had been fired at the base one day prior, and the event had to be moved to another base. No one was prepared for what would happen during the ceremony.
Sean Carmeli had served at the base where the ceremony was moved to. There, he had met his girlfriend Eden, also a lone soldier. And the base's rabbi was the same rabbi who had handled Sean's burial.
In 2014, the rabbi handled burials only, and was serving in northern Israel. He had been asked to make an exception and handle Sean's burial, which was in the south of the country. Later, he was transferred to the base where the dedication ceremony was held.
This is one of the thousands of amazing stories that Oz Vehadar has encountered in its work. The organization renews old Torah scrolls destroyed by the Nazis. The scrolls, from across Europe, receive new life and commemorate IDF soldiers who died while serving their country.
In order to continue its holy work, Oz Vehadar has begun a fundraising campaign, aiming to raise $360,000.
Come be a piece of this special puzzle which strengthens the Torah, the Nation of Israel, and the Land of Israel.