Nine months after a Palestinian Authority Arab terrorist murdered newly-recruited IDF soldier Dvir Sorek, high school students have dedicated an outdoor rest area in his memory at the site where the 19-year-old soldier lost his life.
Sorek was a student at Ohr Torah Stone’s Machanaim Hesder Yeshiva in Gush Etzion when he was killed in August 2019, just one day before summer break, while on his way back from Jerusalem after having purchased books as end-of-year gifts for his teachers.
“The concept developed by our students was to breathe a sense of life and living into this place where Dvir’s life came to its tragic end,” said Rabbi Yitzchak Fried of the Derech Avot High School for Boys in Efrat. “We intend to continue to develop and build up this area.”
Students from Derech Avot, also an Ohr Torah Stone institution, cleaned up the wooded area and created a pathway leading to the site, where they placed benches and picnic tables they made themselves.
Meanwhile, students from Neveh Chanah High School for Girls in Gush Etzion designed and crafted a mosaic depicting the road leading to the “dvir” – the Hebrew word meaning ‘sanctuary’ – which was placed at the entrance to the memorial site.
The dedication ceremony was attended by Dvir’s sister, parents and grandparents as well as faculty members and some of Dvir’s fellow students – most of whom are currently serving in the IDF.
Students and teachers at the ceremony said they hoped everyone who walks through the area will be able to feel the special spirit that defined this young man, his love for every living thing, for every person created in God’s image, for the Jewish people and for Israel.
“From the very moment he arrived in our yeshiva, Dvir stood out,” recalled Rabbi Shlomo Vilk, Rosh Yeshiva of the Robert M. Beren Machanaim Hesder Yeshiva.
“No one ever had to tell him what to do because he already knew the right way to act. His behavior injected a sense of life into everything around him. In his honor we must always strive to carry our sadness with pride, to be uplifted by it, and to use it for positive things that will fill the gaping emptiness of loss.”