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Loved nature and animals: the veterinarian who saved the country from the "mad cow" disease - voila! news


Oded Nir studied at an agricultural school and already there his soul became attached to the dairy farm and the cows. In the army, he served as a paratrooper and fought in the Battle of Mithala. In the diary in which he described the battle, he told about the day he met the loyalty of the animals, which touched his heart. Later he became a respected veterinarian, was the chief physician of the association and even won the "Kaplan Award"

In 1994 he received the "Kaplan Award" for efficiency and increasing work productivity.

Oded (photo: courtesy of the family)

When the boy Oded Markosfeld reached high school age, his parents sent him to study at the agricultural school in Pardes Hana, but very quickly his attraction to wandering in nature kept him away from school and it was decided to suspend him.

A letter was sent to parents who lived in Haifa.

The 15-year-old boy decided he had to get to his parents' mailbox before they found the suspension letter.

He set out on foot from Pardes Hana to Haifa, walked north for three days, slept on the ground and ate fruit from orchards he passed on his way.

The post office in those days worked efficiently and when he arrived in Haifa it became clear to him that the letter had reached him.

Later he said that he found his parents on the verge of a heart attack.

It can be assumed that the parents, whose feelings must have ranged between anger and concern, did not imagine at the time that their son would in the future be the senior veterinarian in Israel and at the same time reach the rank of lieutenant colonel in the army and command a division.

Oded Nir passed away two weeks ago and he is 87 years old.

He was born in Haifa in 1936 to his parents Moshe and Bluma.

Bluma, as a law student and an activist in the "Chas" (Socialist Zionists) organization, was banned and sat in prison in Odessa. His parents arrived in Palestine at the end of the Third Aliya, about a century ago, and met while paving the Tiberias-Zemach road. The road that was paved in the early 1920s The former, by members of the Labor Battalion, is considered one of the symbols of the Zionist enterprise. It was the first road paved as part of organized labor. The couple built their home in the Hadar neighborhood in Haifa. The father was an insurance agent representing the "Lloyds" company, and the mother was active in women's organizations in the 1970s. She volunteered for the reception of immigrants from the Soviet Union.In Haifa, their eldest daughter Carmela was born and five years later their son Oded.

Oded studied at the Reali school in the city and was an outstanding athlete.

He loved the school setting less than the surrounding nature and so it happened that many times after he would leave the house in the morning, he would hide his schoolbag and go for a walk in the Carmel mountains.

At the end of the 8th grade, it was made clear to him and his parents that he would not be able to continue studying at "Rieli" and he moved to study at the agricultural school in Pardes Hana.

After the suspension crisis from the new school, he decided to change his path.

Later he said that the incident "shaken" him and he returned to school a mature and responsible person.

The Pardes Hana agricultural school provided its students with theoretical studies alongside agricultural studies and prepared them for matriculation exams.

The trainees learned a wide variety of agricultural subjects and, among other things, operated a farm, a barn, a chicken coop, plantations, and more.

It was five years of study during which the students were required to work two days a week in the agricultural branches.

In those years, Oded's soul became attached to the farm and the cows.

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In those years, Oded's soul became attached to the farm and the cows.

Oded in the barn (photo: courtesy of the family)

Upon completion of his studies, Oded volunteered for the paratroopers, who were considered the spearhead of the IDF at the time. It was the 890th Battalion, commanded at the time by Ariel Sharon. In August 1955, he enlisted and underwent training under Marcel Tobias, one of the paratroopers' mythological figures.

A little over a year later, in October 1956, being At the officers' course, a rumor came that a military operation was "brewing". Together with three of his friends, he escaped from the course, and showed up with them at the paratrooper base when they informed the battalion commander, Raphael "Raful" Eitan, that they were joining the operation no matter what. Under the command of "Raful", the 890 fighters were parachuted East of the Mithla pass in Sinai and fought the battle to capture the Mithla. It was a bloody battle in which 38 fighters were killed and at the end the pass was captured.

In those dramatic days, the young paratrooper wrote a personal diary on several pages he had.

The diary is a description of a tense and difficult reality, without exhortations and stories of heroism as the Battle of Mithala was burned into Israeli memory.

"Today is the first day after the first combat parachute operation in Israel, and unfortunately the feeling is not one of elation and excitement suitable for such a day," he opened the diary.

He describes the fear that accompanies a parachutist before jumping from the plane and "a serious blow in the pelvis" upon landing on the ground.

Then he describes "a normal view of the Negev. There is no feeling of being 200 km inside Egypt" and later "a greeting of peace from a Russian-Egyptian MiG".

After the hard fighting inside the Mithala against the Egyptian soldiers who were entrenched on both sides of the crossing, Oded wrote: "If I ever had buds of enthusiasm for battle and war, after yesterday they were completely exhausted - yesterday I felt the horrors of the real war. Not the feeling of a proactive action at night against a surprised enemy , but really a bloodbath in which you are not always the initiator, you are not always the winner and it is not always up to you to do something to protect yourself."

Upon graduation, Oded volunteered for the paratroopers, who were then considered the spearhead of the IDF. Oded and Ben Gurion (photo: courtesy of the family)

Oded developed and founded the advanced herd medicine program.

Receiving a degree from one and a half months (photo: courtesy of the family)

Later in the diary he described the difficult fighting against the Egyptian fighters who were fortified in the positions.

"Many of those who were happy on the day of the parachute are no more," writes about the end of that day.

Oded ends the ten pages of the diary with a trip north where he saw "a picture that touches the heart".

He describes a group of dead Egyptians in a pit and "next to the pit lays a dog that has not heard from its owner for four days. What loyalty of an animal. Above all wars, above all areas of life and death - indeed it touched the heart".

When he was released from the army, he went to five years of veterinary studies at the University of Liverpool, England.

During a homeland vacation he married Ofra Malkov, his friend from the agricultural school days.

When he returned to Israel at the end of his studies, Oded began working as a doctor at "Khaklait" in the kibbutz barns and mosvehis of the Western Galilee.

They built their home in Nahariya and raised their three children there - Einat Omri and Adili.

In time he became the chief physician of the association where he worked for about thirty years.

Oded developed and founded the advanced herd medicine program which replaced the single cow method that had been used in cattle farming in Israel until then.

Zavik Adini, who was the manager of the dairy farm in Kibbutz Lohami HaGitaot said that "Oded set new standards in the dairy industry. He made sure he had a scientific picture based on data and built a model that overcame the problems in the herd and thus knew how to offer solutions."

"The dairy farmers would rattle with fear when he came to the dairy, because they knew he was going to put them on the spot. He was a professional authority that could not be disputed. He was always appreciated for his professional analysis, because in the end it was expressed in raising the bar and improving the results of the dairy. Oded Natan A personal example and worked non-stop. Beyond his tough image, he was a sensitive person, with a cynical sense of humor and who loves people."

By the professionals, veterinarians and dairy farmers, he was called "the Rebbe of Menhariya". At the same time as his work and over the years, he published researches and scientific works for which he received awards in Israel and abroad.

In 1994 he received the "Kaplan Award" for efficiency and increasing work productivity.

As the "mad cow" ran amok, the policy he led prevented the disease from entering Israel.

Oded and Yitzhak Rabin (photo: courtesy of the family)

Photo of Oded with his granddaughter Alona visiting the dairy farm established by Epimilk in Vietnam (photo: courtesy of the family)

In 1999 he was appointed director of veterinary services at the Ministry of Agriculture, a position he held for five years.

During his time, the disease called "mad cow" raged in many countries and the policies he led prevented the disease from entering Israel.

At the same time as changing his work as a doctor and veterinarian, Sharet Oded spent long periods as a permanent officer and mainly in the reserves.

Among his positions - commander of Hetmar 228 (Zemach - permanent service), commander of the Alexandroni Brigade, graduate of the National Security College and in his last position commander of Division 85 at the rank of lieutenant colonel.

After he retired, he worked as a consultant for "Khaklait" and the "Apimilk" company that develops and manufactures milking systems from computers. In 2016, the family suffered a severe disaster. Omri and Eili, the son and grandson of Oded and Ofra, were killed when they fell from a height during a sectarian trip to Nahal Tzalim. A few years later, and after more than fifty years, Oded and Ofra left Nahariya and moved to live near their daughters and their family in the center of the country.

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Source: walla

All news articles on 2023-02-11

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