Brigadier General Sharon Asman laid to rest

Asman passed away suddenly last Thursday, just three days after being appointed to command Nahal brigade.

Hezki Baruch ,

Funeral of Brig. Gen. Sharon Asman
Funeral of Brig. Gen. Sharon Asman
Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90

Brigadier-General Sharon Asman, the commander of the Nahal brigade who collapsed and died last Thursday during a training exercise, has been buried on Sunday at the military cemetery in Kiryat Shaul.

IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi eulogized Asman, saying, “He was a commander whose character was a guide in itself – professional and thorough, brave and level-headed. He was a man of thought and of deed, an officer and a gentleman.”

Kochavi added that Asman had embodied the leadership qualities needed in an IDF officer and that he had served as a personal example. “Sharon was the definitive officer,” he said, “and his accomplishments testify to that. He was the type of officer we want in the IDF – the type of officer we need.

“We don’t just need officers who display bravery,” he continued. “We need professional officers with broad-ranging knowledge. We don’t just need daring and focused officers – we need officers who can make balanced decisions. And professionals who make studied decisions are also not sufficient – they must also be humane and pleasant in their ways.

“A leader must know how to balance seemingly opposing traits,” Kochavi added, “to look out for his own unit and also to lead by example. Such a man was Sharon, and that was why we chose him to fill one of the most important positions in the IDF, with full confidence in his abilities to head the Nahal brigade.”

Asman’s wife (also called Sharon) spoke at the funeral: “Thank you for the wonderful loving years we spent together, for your support and friendship,” she said through her tears. “Thank you for choosing me to be your wife – you gave me a tremendous privilege. Thank you for our two daughters… I couldn’t have asked for more. Thank you for the discussions, for your wisdom, your understanding… Quietly, and with modesty and brevity, you always said exactly the right words and opened my eyes to new ways of seeing things. When we got married, I decided to keep using my family name – because it was clear to me that there could only be one Sharon Asman, and that was you.”

Asman’s father, Pesach, eulogized his son, saying, “Sharon’s death, but even more so, his life, must be a lesson to the people of Israel. We have one G-d, one Jerusalem, one State of Israel, one humanity. We must exist here with love, with unity, with balance, and we must be a light unto the nations and a light unto ourselves as well – to guard and protect our State. I ask all Israeli citizens not to unite only during time of war, but to do as Sharon would have wanted – to unite every single day, as a way of life, from now for ever more.

“Sharon, my precious son, I was always proud of you,” he continued. “I used to boast about you to all my friends. You gave me the strength to continue when I was dealing with medical issues, and I thank you with all my heart for the never-ending love that you gave. You always said that Sharon and your daughters were your angels, and I am certain that now you are their guardian angel looking after them.”

Colonel Yisrael Shomer, who was due to end his term of service as commander of the Nahal brigade but has now returned to his position following Asman’s death, said: “Sharon, my brother, when you were appointed to head the Nahal brigade, an appointment that was the pinnacle of your life, you stressed that you always remembered the faces and names of those who fell in battle and would remain forever young. You promised to always remember them and to remember their families and embrace them. Now we promise to embrace your own family,” he said.

“The ambitions you dreamed of actualizing were greater than any words we can find,” he continued. “I know how much you hoped to achieve, how many goals you had for the brigade, and now we pledge to continue in your name, in your path, in your spirit. You were an example to us all, an example of professionalism and decency, of ethical values and determination – and above all, of love for one’s fellow man, for every man.”

The head of the Northern Command, Colonel Amir Baram, expressed similar sentiments. “We have lost an exemplary figure in the IDF,” he said, “a fighter who was brave, strong, and sensitive, with tremendous potential to attain immense achievements in every area of life. Words are of no comfort, but Asman will continue to be an example of greatness in the IDF,” he concluded.

Brigadier-General Sharon Asman was 42 when he died, just three days after taking command of the Nahal brigade. He served in many positions prior to his final promotion, during a career spanning 25 years. He fought and was wounded in Operation Protective Edge, but refused to be evacuated despite his wounds.

The IDF has already announced that it will be conducting an investigation into his sudden death, headed by a senior medical officer.

איתן אלחדז/TPS
איתן אלחדז/TPS
איתן אלחדז/TPS
איתן אלחדז/TPS
איתן אלחדז/TPS
איתן אלחדז/TPS
איתן אלחדז/TPS


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