Zechariah Baumel's funeral (Photo: L.A.M., Editing: Itai Amram)
Miriam Baumel, the mother of Sergeant Zechariah Baumel, passed away this evening (Thursday) at the age of 89. Her son, Zechariah, was named on June 11, 1982, as one of the three missing in the Battle of Sultan Ya'akov in Lebanon along with fighters Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman.
His body was laid to rest in Israel in 2019 as part of Operation Zemar Noga after long negotiations between Amman and the Russian army. His father Yona died in 2009 and did not receive the news of his son's body being returned for burial, 37 years after his disappearance.
Rabbi Benny Lau, The rabbi of the community where Miriam and her husband Yona were friends eulogized her: "A very sad funeral, thirty-seven years of her life she was busy looking for her son.
That alone is creepy.
There was a woman who did not let bitterness lead her.
A woman with a lot of inner strength, a lot of criticism and very direct.
She didn't let it spread and go round and round.
She was an artist, did exhibitions, all paintings and derivatives in the color of life.
With stories and with life and with Lavlov - she didn't let Mr. take over life."
"In this synagogue there are no decorations on the walls, except for one sign near the rabbi's head - a prayer for the captives and the missing," said the rabbi.
"Let them remember that we are with them all the time. Just before the end of the lockdown on Yom Kippur, a prayer for the missing and a remembrance in their heads. We talked a lot about the ability to close a scroll when there is no time, I learned a lot about Rachel Imano's phrase 'It's fun to comfort her sons'. You can't be comforted if there is no closing Goll. Miriam was privileged, compared to Yona, to bring Zechariah to the grave of Israel and considered it a huge privilege. A year after her son returned, the corona virus started and she rarely came, she was busy with her family and her work. This was her last chapter, closing the circle of a very long journey." .
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Mother Miriam with her daughter at the burial ceremony of Zachariah in 2019.
Mount Herzl, Jerusalem (Photo: Reuven Castro)
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Missing for 37 years, since 1983. Zakaria Baumel (photo: official website, IDF spokesman)
The IDF revealed that the "Sorrowful Singer" operation, in which Zakaria's body was recovered, lasted for more than two years in cooperation with the Russian army. "The operation included a series of operations in several locations, and there were also disappointments," noted IDF spokesman Ronan Manelis at the time, who later said that The bodies arrived in Russia and from there to Israel.
According to him, "The bodies were found in various positions on the ground. Most of them were examined and no connection to the missing was found, except for Baumel. The bodies that are not ours will be buried in terrorist cemeteries."
The investigation into the missing persons was reopened after, in the summer of 2002, testimony was received in the IDF from an officer who claimed to have seen one of the missing persons at a space collection point. Based on the initial information, the head of the personnel division in the IDF, Major General Gil Regev, with the approval of then Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, decided to establish Special Investigation Team (SIT) in the Missing Persons Tracking Branch (ITAN).
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