Shloshim / 7th Iyar / "Love Eternal" / David Mandel
VOICES OF GUSH ETZION / Cheryl 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
A commander that during field exercises came out from nowhere, arms
stretched out, calling out, "a wild wind, I call this a wild
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
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.
Soldier from Team Mandel