Michael levin on Ezra's roof

Staff Sergeant Michael Levin, 21, was laid to rest this Tisha B’Av afternoon on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. Levin, who served with the Tzachanim (Paratroopers) was on leave and visiting his family in Philadelphia when the war broke out in Lebanon. He cut his vacation short, returned to Israel and re-joined his unit.

Last Tuesday, in the southern Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab, he was killed in clashes with Hizballah gunmen. You can read more in the Jerusalem Post (where many of Michael’s friends seem to have congregated in order to leave messages of condolence to his family in the comments section), The Philadelphia Enquirer and The New York Sun. Haaretz has a great article about Michael and two other “lone soldiers” with families overseas who have perished in this conflict so far.

Levin's twin sister

I didn’t know Michael but we had friends in common. Everyone described him as a great guy with a smile that wouldn’t quit. He was extremely personable and friendly as well as committed and persistent. I’m sorry I didn’t get to know him when I had the chance, and like all soldiers who have lost their lives in defense of the country, we are all diminished by his loss. Our Michael (who is joining the IDF in October), laya and I attended his funeral and our hearts go out to his family, fellow soldiers and many friends.

More pics from the funeral by clicking on the flickr tag below.

www.flickr.com

Paratrooper Michael Levin's FuneralJewlicious’ Paratrooper Michael Levin’s Funeral photoset

Blogs:
Life in Israel: The area on Har Herzl was packed with people. Most I am sure were like me, in other words people did not know him, but wanted to pay respects to such a gibor yisrael, who gave his life to protect us.

Wilderness City: His family was there in a strange nightmare coming off of the plane to their dead son and men in uniform commending him in a language they couldn’t understand. A lot of us came out not because we knew him, but because somehow, on a deeper level, we needed to know him. We were there for him? We were there for ourselves?

MentalBlog

Am Echad?: ברוך דיין האמת -May You be Comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem — but more than that, may you know that your son helped build Zion and Jerusalem so that we can live again as a free people in our land.

Sabra at Heart: I couldn’t be prouder of Michael, my fellow American and Israeli brother.

Follow me

About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

13 Comments

  • Lebanon is not being destroyed first of all. There are parts that have been bombed heavily, but just as in Beirut, they are sections specific to where Hizbullah has a clear presence.

    Second, he died in large part because the Israelis try to avoid civilian casualties. This makes their fighting in S. Lebanon far more complex and dangerous and puts soldiers in direct line of danger. This is especially true because Hizbullah has no such qualms either about Israeli civilians or, incredibly, about Lebanese civilians.

    Three, the only terrorist army in this war is Hizbullah.

  • #2;
    Go to hell pro-terrorist scum! This angel is with God because he protected the children of Israel from evil terrorists that you support. The vast majority killed in Lebanon, Gaza, West Bank were terrorists not civilians. (There is no Palestine.) The civilians that were killed were used as human shields by the terrorists.
    I’m not Jewish but support the great IDF army for defending not just Israel but the rest of the western civilized world from the Hizzbollah Islamic terrorists.
    God is on the side of Israel always!

  • My condolences to the families of all the people who have died so far.

    Even if the leaflets tell the civilians of Lebanon to go, they may be unable to do so as, for example, many bridges and roads are destroyed, or the people simply might not have anywhere to go. Also, vehicles travelling on roads have been bombed.

    The end result is that there are a lot of civilians even in the areas which should have been evacuated. Going in with troops is surely very difficult if you attempt to fight and at the same time try to not hit non-combatants. And long story short, then will be funerals for young people like Mr. Levin.

    PS. CNN reports that “Nasrallah also offered an olive branch in his lengthy statement, saying Hezbollah would stop rocket attacks on Israel if Israel stops its attacks in Lebanon.”

    What do you think, will this gesture be accepted?

  • Finnish, I don’t think it will be accepted because the Israelis wouldn’t want to give him time to re-arm Hizbullah and re-organize for yet some more fighting. Besides, the “olive branch” came together with a threat that he will bomb Tel Aviv if they continue to bomb the Hizbullah sites in Beirut. I would think the Israeli leadership took note of the threat and felt that aquiescing would be a mistake.

  • Comments are invited about the proposed solution to the Arab-Isreali crisis.

    Is a “Two State” solution the best way forward?

    Does this address the “root cause” of the problem?

    Any suggestions or proposal on what will work?

    Please contribute!!!!

    Thanks

  • First i offer my blessings on to the immediate family of Michael and the the extended family, his unit, his friends, the other lone soldiers and us the citizens of israel in whose name he died. May your memory never be forgotten.

    Second. as a 4 year oleh and a regular reader here, i have followed the discussions of life in israel. I never undderstand how in time of grief we can take pictures, interview (as they do on TV) mourners. While painful pictures for sure, they are more painful to know that ones grief is captured, invaded by the lense, by the need to capture the moment, to create art, to sell

  • hearing this news from australia is painful and will forever be painful
    i was his first commander in the paratroopers i taught him how to shoot a gun and i couldnt do anything to help
    i am sorry for bringing mike into my unit and i will forever remember him
    i wish that he will pray for israel and his family
    please forgive me

  • Michael was a terrific young man. It saddens me not that he is gone but that young women and men will not be able to specifically be able to hear his wisdom. I hope that in a small way my efforts to continue to speak about him will honor his family and him.

  • ALERT– Hashem puts you exactly where you need to be even when it just doesnt seem that way at all– missed my dear friends funeral b/c i was in the states but last night got to speak and sing in Mike’s memory before a couple of thousand Jews in Philadelphia– a tribute both completly surreal and real at the same time– he was both my student and my teacher and i miss him so much, but he lives on through me and all who knew and grew from him– yehi zikhro barukh.

  • I also was in phillytown that surreal evening. I am glad I went to pay my repects to Mike.
    I heard you sing rebe and it blessed me to know he had such kindred spirits as you in his life
    May his memory be blessed

  • […] Here in Israel, it seems like (almost) everyone’s getting behind the war effort. Everyone is trying to do whatever they can to help. Of course, those in the IDF and in the reserves are serving bravely, rushing off to join their mates when called, and others are even sacrificing their lives. […]

Leave a Comment