By: Akiva Kra (‘21)

On Tuesday, April 28th, MTA hosted a powerful and moving Yom Hazikaron program, which enabled the entire yeshiva to honor the lives of all of the fallen soldiers, whose sacrifices enable us to call Israel our home country. The event opened with a montage highlighting IDF fallen soldiers and a moment of silence, followed by a discussion with former IDF soldier Moshe Hirt. Moshe began by talking about his years growing up in New Jersey and attending a local yeshiva high school, which talmidim were able to relate to. Then he discussed why he loves Israel and his experience in the IDF, including what army life was like, what went through his mind during intense situations, and what happened when he got injured in battle. His stories about how all types of people came to visit him when he was injured, the experiences his unit shared before and during their invasions, and the ways he and his friends used to encourage everyone during training, inspired and brought a greater appreciation for what Yom Hazikaron is all about. After his wonderful presentation. The event closed with Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Taubes, saying the misheberach for Tzahal.

After the yeshiva-wide program, Rabbi Gopin’s Sophomore Shiur also had the opportunity to hear from his cousin, Naftali Barak, who served in the IDF for 17 years. Naftali shared the powerful story of his oldest son, Yair, who also served in the IDF as a member of the Golani Brigade and was killed on Hoshana Rabbah in 1996. The talmidim heard Yair’s story as well as some of his original writings about hashgachas Hashem and man’s purpose in this world. Talmidim in Rabbi Pearl’s Junior Shiur participated in an interactive Yom Hazikaron discussion with alumni and IDF soldiers Akiva (’14) and Naftali (’17) Pudell, brothers of Gavriel Pudell (’21).


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