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“This is our light”

סרן רותם לוי

* Translation by Yehoshua Siskin ([email protected])

Shalom Sivan, My name is Naama Zer-Kavod. One and a half months ago the beloved son of my brother, Lieutenant Rotem Levy, fell in battle in the northern Gaza Strip. In his last assignment, he was a lieutenant company commander in the Yahalom unit, a special commando unit of the combat engineering corps. It is important to us that the following story about him should be more widely publicized.

During the Shiva mourning period, one of his fellow soldiers related that, in the middle of the fighting, with Rotem by his side, he was unable to turn on his flashlight. In despair, he said to Rotem. “Enough already. How much can we take? Everything is so dark!”

And then Rotem, with amazing peace of mind, answered: “Look back. Do you see Kibbutz Nir Oz (of whose residents around 100 were murdered, wounded, or abducted)? This is our light, this is what lights our way.”

Words cannot describe the strength Rotem gave his fellow soliders at that moment. Rotem had the capacity not only to see light within absolute darkness, but also to lift the spirits of those around him in the most difficult moments. With one sentence, he had written another chapter in our people’s glorious history.

Rotem was a hero not only because of how he died, but also because of how he lived. If only we can inspire ourselves with the story of the flashlight, that we should succeed in seeing light when there is none, and in showing that light to those around us.”


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