Soldier´s Death Bridges Gaps

Sgt. Bnayah Rein, 27, of Karnei Shomron was killed in action during the recent war in Lebanon. His parents recently received the following letter:

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 1:07 PM

Dear Chagit and Shimon,
I am the mother of Yariv, who was Bnayah's Deputy Battalion Commander for four months until this past April.

We met Bnayah through Yariv's stories. Yariv called him a "fantastic guy," someone who did everything all-out, someone who gave of himself to the end, with no compromises or shortcuts. Through these stories alone, we grew to love Bnayah. My husband saw him once; they only exchanged a few words and shook hands, but since then, Bnayah has remained in his heart. My husband explained to me then that Bnayah was the sort of person that even if you saw him for only a minute, he remains with you forever.
A road in Karnei Shomron

We heard of Bnayah's death on the radio, and [when Yariv heard], he called us, crying almost uncontrollably, "Mom, it can't be that Bnayah is gone."

Because Yariv was not in Israel, and because of how we felt, we came to Bnayah's funeral. We were there among all the thousands. We heard the eulogies in the yard of your house and at the gravesite, and we felt very close to him, and to you. I have no explanation why.

I must admit that both my husband and I grew up in leftist homes. Since our military service 30 years ago, we never visited past the Green Line, and we supported the evacuation of the Gaza Strip.

I must tell you that we returned from Bnayah's funeral changed people. I walked in Karnei Shomron along Bnayah's final path, we saw and felt the people who walked with us, and something within us changed.
Scenery in Karnei Shomron

We saw that you have built homes to be proud of, with wonderful families, and we understood that we have a lot to learn from you. We had never seen before one community that was like one big family, so supportive of each other.

Shimon spoke, at the burial, about unity among the nation - and this is exactly what we have been feeling since that moment: love for the entire Jewish nation, without the divisions of various political opinions, and we want to hug you with endless love.

We admire you for your courage, the greatness of your spirit, and we thank you for settling the Land of Israel in places where others don't go.

Thus we returned from the funeral as changed, and I hope better, people, who really and simply want unity among the nation and love of Israel, as we are all part of the same people with one destiny.

From what we heard at the funeral, we got to know you as well, Chagit and Shimon, and what wonderful people you are. We feel that we have so much more to learn from you, and we feel much love towards you - exactly as we felt your love towards everyone else.

It is painful to know that such a deep change inside of us occurred only as a result of Bnayah's death. This is the reason that we haven't stopped thinking about him since then. I have no doubt that he has a huge mission above, and that you also have a mission here below. I understood this mission when we were with you Tuesday morning without you knowing that we were there at your side - pained by your pain, hugging you, and supporting you.

A. and M. B.

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Arutz-7 contacted Bnayah's mother Chagit, who said that the two families have since struck up a friendship. "In his death, Bnayah continued what he did throughout his life," she said. "He studied in yeshiva for a year and a half in Torat HaChaim in Gush Katif, and then went to the army, choosing specifically a corps that did not have a large religious representation. Many of his friends and fellow officers told us that he brought them closer to Judaism merely by his example and how he acted. He arranged that, every week, a group of soldiers from his regiment would volunteer with autistic children - and I have asked the army to continue this program."