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Shloshim / 7th Iyar / "Love Eternal" / David Mandel


Daniel my friend / Barak

Daniel / Lieutenant Michael Rosman

Memorial Tribute to Daniel Mandel / Ofir Sasson

Eulogy by Gabi

Daniel Mandel z"tl

Memorial Tribute to Daniel Mandel

Dear Commander Mandel,

We merited to be your soldiers. We all feel fortunate that you were our commander. An outstanding commander: principled, concerned, resolute. We learned much from you. From a military point of view, you taught us everything we know, from the easiest and simplest action to the most complex and difficult mission. But you taught us so much more. Much more than the use of arms, much more than how to become a soldier.

You brought us to maturity, you fashioned us in your skilled hands. You always strove and believed that it is not enough to be a good soldier, but one must strive to me a good fighter. And in order to be good fighters we must be good people, principled, with faith and belief. And you acted from this premise.

You made sure that we visited a shelter for battered women, a home for the retarded, we worked with youth in distress, we helped children from destitute homes with their studies, and we just played with them, we painted homes, etc.

From me in particular you requested that each week someone from our team would deliver a lecture and you requested that the topic should make us better people and that it be preferable that it include the topic of the love of the Land of Israel.

You loved the Land and you desired that we should also. We took many hikes. You often told us that in order to know for what we are fighting, that one must hike and get to know the Land. The Ramon Crater, the Sarbata, the springs in the Jordan Valley, the Gilboa, the City of David, Dargot Cliffs, and many other places.

You brought us together with interesting people and lectures. "When it is possible to have fun, we’ll have fun, and when we need to work, we will work, until exhaustion", you used to often say. The atmosphere in the team was important to you. You loved our ability to keep our morale high, in the face of every difficulty. This was an ability that we clearly received from you.

You were proud of us with fatherly feelings that you found difficult to conceal. You never skipped a team meeting, if we didn’t get around to meet on Friday, we met on Sunday. We felt that you cared about what was happening to us. You always had your finger on the pulse.

It is easy for a commander to shut people up and to make decisions alone. But you always insisted to hear what people thought.

You knew how to shake us up, to criticize us sharply. You demanded a lot. But you developed in us faith in our capabilities.

You hated people who always wanted to please. You called upon us to stand up for ourselves and not retreat. But you taught us the difference between defeat and concession. You desired that we should know how to concede, to relinquish our seat on the bus to an elderly person, to offer a ride, to volunteer, even when the task is difficult. "Be 'suckers'. Go home, have fun, and don't forget to be a 'sucker'", you used to say with a smile.

We merited having an outstanding commander, special, a rare species. A commander that on a navigation exercise in the North, gave us an envelope with the next task and a quote of the poet, Natan Alterman.

A commander that during field exercises came out from nowhere, arms stretched out, calling out, "a wild wind, I call this a wild wind!"

You loved rain. You were happy when it rained on us, whether it was during a food break, running, navigation, a march, or a de-briefing.

You asked us riddles, played piano for us during dinner in Almog's house, and created one of the best evenings we ever had.

On a Friday that we were supposed to remain for Shabbat you sent us home with ten minutes warning because the bag pipes that you had waited so long for finally arrived.

You loved the movie, "Brave Heart" and you would often quote from it. And just like the hero of the movie, you were a leader for us. You were our "William Wallace": charismatic, determined, with a heart of gold, and a little wild. One who believed in what he did who loved his homeland and was proud to fight for it. You often quoted a certain line from the movie, "They can take our lives, but they can never take our freedom". Today this line takes on special meaning.

Mandel, it's only a little more than a week that you are not with us. Yet it seems that much time has passed. So many thoughts have passed through our minds, so many feelings, and your absence burns so much. All of the team is standing in line and you are speaking to us, like you would often do; to see you pass by the room, cast in an off-handed remark; to hear you laugh at Gil, Lofo, Doron, Yaron, and Katz. How you used to laugh at everybody's nonsense. We miss seeing you wake up all disheveled uttering nonsense, that you usually didn't remember saying. We miss the silences and we miss the times that you began to speak and couldn't stop.

For a long time you were our days and we shared innumerable experiences together. You were a little our father and mother, a little our big brother, a little our friend, a little our instructor, and a little our nursery school teacher.

From our knowing you, it was clear to all of us that you would want us to go on and only become stronger and improve, and that is what we are doing. We are looking out for each other, talking a lot, lifting our heads high and going forward and not forgetting for a moment. We will try to be like you and to make you proud. We are the fruits of your efforts and we will pass on all that we received from you.

Your influence on us is great and there will always be a little Mandel in all of us.

We love you and are proud to be your team.

Team Mandel

Ofir Sasson
Soldier from Team Mandel
04 673-2157
052 214067

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