Over 1,200 members of the haredi community participated Tuesday in an emotional evening in memory of IDF casualties held at the Heichal Shlomo synagogue in Jerusalem.
The evening was dedicated to the memory of the haredi IDF soldiers who fell while on duty, including the first Nahal Haredi soldiers and those of the haredi service options that currently exist in the IDF.
The evening was attended by Rabbi Shlomo Moshe Amar and Rabbi Aryeh Stern, Chief Rabbis of Jerusalem; Shas Chairman MK Rabbi Aryeh Deri; bereaved families, members and rabbis of the Netzach Yehuda Association; Head of the Social Security Division at the Ministry of Defense, Brigadier General Moshe Tzin; Head of the Recruitment Division in the Ministry of Defense, Mr. Udi Dror; representatives of the IDF and the haredi administration; haredi soldiers and graduates; and rabbis and public figures.
Great excitement arose in the audience while the singer Ishay Lapidot and the master of emotion, Akiva, together with a singer officer from the Netzach Yehuda division, went on stage to sing the moving, "Gam Ki Elech," to the sound of a vocal choir, with the audience singing with them, moved by the performance.
The commander of the Netzach Yehuda division, Lt. Gen. Mati Shevach, said: "In the spirit of our fallen, we perform our tasks every day. In this spirit we train our soldiers, and in the field we act according to the stories of valor and our tradition – remembering their way. I can still hear the voices of those I knew, in their voices I hear the devotion of the soul, the heroism, the person they were."
The chairman of the Shas party, Rabbi Aryeh Deri, said in his speech: "We bow our heads in memory of the 24,068 casualties of the Israeli military, including 33 fallen of Netzach Yehuda. The merciful G-d will find proper rest for their holy souls. And we pray for the healing of those injured of the IDF, that carry in their body and soul the scars of our struggle for existence."
The head of the Ministry of Defense's Social Security Division, Brigadier General Moshe Tzin said to the bereaved families: "IDF soldiers, including the haredi fighters, stand every day at the front as our wall of defense, so that we can live our lives here safely. Unfortunately, the protection of our homeland has a heavy and terrible price. Your children fell in sacrifice and holiness and left a huge and glorious legacy."
Rabbi David Fuchs, one of the rabbis of Netzach Yehuda and one of the founders of the haredi courses in the IDF, said that, "The event was exciting and groundbreaking. We were privileged to establish a moving tradition in which the victims of the haredi courses receive a proper commemoration at a state event tailored to the haredi public. More than a thousand people came to participate with the bereaved families in their mourning out of a deep sense of belonging."
The CEO of Netzach Yehuda association, Yossi Levy, concluded: "We are excited to hold an event that unites all parts of Israeli society to support the painful bereavement of the families who sacrifice a tremendous sacrifice for the people of Israel every day. The haredi public is no longer left behind, but shares the memory of IDF casualties in a respectful and appropriate manner and in the spirit of the Torah."