A memorial commemorating fallen soldiers in the Israel Defense Forces who fought in haredi Orthodox units was broadcasted on Monday night from the Hechal Shlomo auditorium in Jerusalem without an audience due to restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Netzach Yehuda organization, which accompanies and supports haredi soldiers, sponsored the event in collaboration with the Israeli Defense Ministry and the municipality of Jerusalem. This was the second consecutive annual event that was held specifically to commemorate such soldiers.

The event was dedicated in the memory of fallen haredi soldiers throughout Israel’s history, including those who served in the first Nahal Haredi unit established in the early 1960s that closed after the Yom Kippur War.

Participating in the memorial were former Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem Shlomo Amar; Israel’s Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau; Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas); Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion; Jerusalem City Council member Aryeh King; Brig. Gen. (res.) Moshe Tzin, head of the Social Security branch of the Israeli Defense Ministry; Udi Dror, head of the Recruitment division of the Ministry of Defense; rabbis of Nahal Haredi organization; and other distinguished individuals.

Representing bereaved parents, Rabbi Eliyahu Meirav, father of Sgt. Yosef Cohen, who was murdered a little more than a year ago in a shooting attack near Givat Asaf, said, “Many of us feel fear, uncertainty and worry, and so I ask for everyone to spread a message of hope, and I believe I am speaking on behalf of all bereaved parents. Let us strengthen ourselves together to get out of this furnace more polished, united and more loving than before.”

He continued, explaining that “approximately one year ago, I and my wife, Adele, lost our dear son Yosef. Since that tragic day, we have re-learned the concept of solitude every day, but loneliness is not everything. It contains a wonderful sense of unity. At first, we thought that it was incumbent on us to revive their memory, but we discovered that even more so, it is they, through our remembrance of them, who revive us.”

Yossi Levi, CEO of the Nahal Haredi organization, said “we have the privilege of holding for the second time in the history of the State of Israel a special evening event in memory of fallen soldiers who served in the haredi tracks of the IDF. Thousands of haredi soldiers contribute on a daily basis to the protection of the people and the country while they maintain their identity and way of life. The memorial ceremony was adapted for the haredi public, allowing [them] to mark the day in a unique way.”

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