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Shabbat songs: Legacy of a fallen soldier


* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])

Lieutenant Yaron Chitiz, a deputy company commander in the Givati Brigade who was killed in Gaza, can teach us something special about singing on Shabbat.

Yaron came home only once during the war, for Shabbat. His entire family, South African olim (immigrants), were together for that Shabbat in Ra’anana. Suddenly in the middle of the Shabbat meal, Yaron pounded on the table and said: “What is this? Why aren’t we singing? It can’t be that in Gaza they are singing more Shabbat songs than we are singing here!”


It turns out that Yaron and his soldiers, when they were not on duty, tried to make Shabbat meals in Gaza meaningful. Tasty prepared dishes were not available, but words of Torah and songs were in abundance. Rabbi Doron Chitiz, Yaron’s brother, an educator we had the pleasure of meeting at camp in the US, related with a smile that after his brother spoke at their table in Ra’anana, everyone started to sing with joy and excitement, just about every Shabbat song that they knew.


It was Yaron’s last Shabbat in this world.


At the Shiva, Rabbi Doron spoke to me as follows: “I am asking everyone who reads these words to remember the request of Yaroni my brother. He left a living will in which joy, Shabbat, and togetherness are bequeathed to all of us. So try this Shabbat to sing more, the songs that you really love, and then sing just one more song.”


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