Sergeant Major (res.) Ben Zussman, 22, from Jerusalem, a soldier in the 401st Brigade, the Iron Trace Formation, the Corps of Combat Engineers, fell yesterday in battle in the northern Gaza Strip. Sussman will be laid to rest today (Monday) at 12:00 noon at the Mount Herzl Military Cemetery.
Sussman was a graduate of Himmelfarb High School in Jerusalem, which had already lost five of its graduates in an iron sword war. "It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of a graduate of the school, Ben Zussman, a graduate of the class of 2/<>, and Boaz's brother from the eleventh grade," they eulogized Sussman at the educational institution where he studied.
Blessed be the Dayan of truth.
It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of a graduate of the school,* Ben Zussman,* a graduate of the class of 2/<>,
and Boaz's brother from the eleventh grade<>.
Ben fell today in battle in Gaza.
The funeral will take place tomorrow at 12:00 on Mount Herzl.
Good news. pic.twitter.com/GloL8kmK6D
— Lior Badin (@liorbedein) December 3, 2023
Shai Harush, Ben Zussman's friend, found it difficult to digest the news of his death in the war and wrote on his Facebook page: "Sussman was an eternal leap, who loved ping pong with all his heart. He was a man of a sense of humor brimming with black jokes, who would bring them up at every opportunity. Sussman was a man of sweat and hard work, always investing no matter what task it was. It hurts to talk about such a dear friend in the past tense, but last night, while talking to my friend's mother and Sussman's friend, Staff Sgt. Shahar Friedman, z"l, she told me the difficult news. Ben Zussman, a good friend of mine and Shahar, was killed, bringing to five the number of my friends killed since the beginning of the fighting."
The Hapoel Jerusalem Table Tennis Association, where Sussman was an outstanding player, eulogized him: "A terrible disaster. With great sorrow and a broken heart, Ben Zussman, the SPCA player, the salt of the earth, the hero of Israel, the best of the best, fell tonight in the fighting in Gaza. All Hapoel Jerusalem players share in the family's grief. May his memory be blessed."
Dodik Altarz, who was Ben Sussman's coach, wrote to him with deep grief: "Dear son, I can't believe I'm writing about you in the past tense. I had the huge privilege of coaching you and accompanying you for over 10 years. I've always said that I wish all the players I coach and coach in the future would be like you. To this day, new children in our teams, who never knew you, hear us from the coaches in the association who talk about your good qualities and mention you on many occasions."
Ben Zussman z"l, photo: courtesy of the family
"Ben, salt of the earth, an outstanding athlete, a shining example of seriousness, perseverance, investment, sticking to a goal, achievement, paragon, helping your friends, always volunteering. You were much loved and appreciated by all who knew you, your virtues radiated and positively influenced all your friends. You infected everyone around you with your ambition, your kindness, your gratitude and doing good. You were my son's childhood friend Liad and his admired character. You grew up together and spent many hours practicing at the tennis table and I saw you just like your name as a son to me too. I was so happy a few months ago that you were discharged from your regular service and I saw you finally return to play and even start coaching with the team, and as usual you did it with enthusiasm and great giving."
"Just a few days ago I spoke to you during the war and you told me that everything is good with you, that you lack nothing, and you promised me that you are taking care of yourself and that I have nothing to worry about. Unfortunately, this time you did not keep your promise. I'm sad and it's very hard for me. I can't believe I won't see you again, that I won't get to guide you again, and that I won't get to hug you. I promise I will never forget you, the light you spread wherever you were will continue to accompany me and all the players of the association. Love you so much, dear son. You will forever be in my heart."
Ben Zussman and his family were members of the Secret Sheik community, where they wrote about him painfully: "The Secret Sheikh community announces with shock and grief the passing of the community's member, Sgt. Ben Zussman, Ben Zvi and Sarit, brother to Mika and Boaz."
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