May 05, 2014

On Memorial Day in Israel, I remember Noam Mayerson, of blessed memory

Noam flanked by his younger brothers,
Yoni and Hilly, building a sukkah

I first published this post on May 9, 2011.

In Jewish time, each day begins at sunset. Last night, on the eve of Yom Hazikaron [Memorial Day] a one-minute siren sounded at 8 p.m. across Israel. This blast called the nation to stop activity and stand to remember and honor Israel's soldiers who fell in battle and civilian victims of terror. National flags were lowered to half-mast and so began a full day of personal and national meditation, reflection, and remembrance ceremonies. A second siren blast will sound at 11 a.m. this morning.

On August 7, 2006, during the Second Lebanon War, St. Sgt. Noam Yaakov Mayerson, was killed when Hezbollah terrorists opened fire on an IDF unit in the southern Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil. Noam, the third child of five children of my beloved cousins Gila and Chaim, was age 23.

The son of an American-born (Dayton, Ohio) father and an Israeli-born mother, Noam grew up in Jerusalem, studied in the yeshiva high school in Mitzpe Ramon, and later attended the hesder yeshiva in Eilat. Noam and Sara Ra’anan were to have been married September 10, 2006.

Chaim, his father, on learning that his son was killed:

Noam was a G-d-fearing person. The main thing for him was fear of Heaven, love of the Jewish nation and of the Land of Israel. He wanted to work in education or the rabbinate. He was full of energy, and he had a lot of friends.

Rabbi Hillel Rotkoff, one of Noam’s teachers at the hesder yeshiva:

He was a fantastic boy – a tour guide who loved the land. He loved the history of the Jewish nation, the nation that came back to its land, and the Torah he learned here. He had great faith and internal strength. [Of Noam’s commitment to protect his homeland:] He didn’t shy away from anything. Giving his life for the land was not just a slogan for him, but a way of life. And unfortunately, he did it.

Noam Mayerson is buried in Jerusalem in the military cemetery on Mount Herzl. Besides his parents, Noam is survived by his sister, Shira, and three brothers: Yehoshua, Hillel, and Yonatan. He also leaves a large and loving family and community, including nieces, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, teachers, and students.

To honor Noam's life and carry forward the work he started and did not merit completing, his parents, teachers, rabbis, and educators joined in developing Darchey Noam. In July 2013, this nonprofit published under the same name a comprehensive online guide (Hebrew) to the land of Israel incorporating Noam's educational vision and the experiential activities he created. A unique feature of the guide is its invitation to study Torah with a hands-on direct encounter with the physical, spiritual, and historical aspects of the land of Israel.

נעם בן גילה וחיים. יהי זכרו ברוך
Noam ben Gila vChaim. Yehi zichro baruch.
Noam, son of Gila and Chaim. May his memory be a blessing.

My related posts

1 comment:

Gail Aguiar said...

A touching tribute, Tamar. The nonprofit is a fitting legacy of a young man gone too soon.