In Giv’at Oz veGa’on in Gush Etzion, celebrations were held for Simchat Beit HaShoeva.
Friday a Simchat Beit HaShoeva event was held at Giv’at Oz veGa’on, next to Gush Etzion Junction. This hilltop site was established by Women in Green in memory of the three youths who were abducted, Gil-Ad, Ayal and Naftali (Ga’on).
Both Brigade Commander Col. Amit Yamin and Racheli Frenkel, mother of Naftali, HY”D, spoke at this event.
Col. Yamin blessed the hundreds of celebrants who arrived in their masses, from all areas of the Land and he remarked on the uniqueness of the holiday of Sukkot, which expresses the “joy in humility and the joy in austerity”. Relating to the military’s and his personal coping with the event of the abduction of the youths he said: “the previous (Jewish) year ended with closing a circle that was important for the entire People of Israel. We brought the vile murderers to account. This was a task of primary importance for us. We did not rest, and we worked with all of the security forces and intelligence bodies until we entrapped them”.
Col. Yamin told of how “approximately four months ago I woke up and understood that we are in the midst of a military operation with national significance. As the hours passed we were shocked to see the dimensions of the event and during 18 days we labored energetically with all of the combined forces. Unfortunately we found them lifeless and this caused us the bitter feeling that we had lost”, said Yamin, but immediately continued, describing the empowerment that he felt from the families of the abducted, especially in the difficult and emotional days. Yamin told of the most significant sentence that he heard from Avi, the father of Naftali, HY”D, during the week. “Avi told me ‘you have brought us back to life’. I did not understand what he meant and he explained that he said that ‘if we had had to continue in that same situation without knowing for sure and with the sense of lack of clarity, it is hard for me to say how we could have coped with it. Now we have brought them to a grave among the People of Israel and we know how to continue from here’”.
“The three families were, for us, a source of strength and a model that gave us the ability to continue in the task of defending the citizens of Israel along with the efforts to entrap the abductors. We came to a level of solidarity and a unity that will stay with us for a long time. It was from this solidarity that the IDF and the entire nation entered Operation Protective Edge. The spirit that blew into the sails of the war effort is what brought it to its successes, and led the troops to the places and achievements that we reached”, said Yamin and remarked that this is the proof of the living link between the army and the People. “There is a tremendous sense of togetherness, a sense of great joy, of removing any doubts on a broad national level”.
Immediately after Col. Yamin’s words, as he was leaving the site to do other tasks in defense of the sector, “in order to continue to enable everyone to be here and travel here in safety”, in his words, Racheli Frenkel spoke, eager to express her appreciation and admiration for the fighters of the IDF and its commanders, as well as Col. Yamin, personally. About his words regarding the importance of humility, Frenkel explained that this is what was required of the commanders during the days of the search for the three youths, “humble enough to be able to hear others, to consult and act in order to find the boys”.