Susan Barth
Advocate for Marriage Education in Israel

Forever 20-Something Years Old

The bitter irony of the “lockdown” today on Yom HaZikaron is the spotlight it places on the very place which especially the young soldiers who gave up their lives in defense of Eretz Yisrael will never experience – the “Home.” On this day of national reflection, it is the “Home” that has taken center stage as the venue for memorializing our enormous loss.

As I listened to the siren this morning, all I could think about was the bayit neaman (the “Homes”), the spouses, and the children – all the aspects of “Home” which the fallen never will have the opportunity to enjoy.   And for the bereaved families, they will never experience the joys of celebrating the weddings, the children, and the milestones associated with “Home.”

Forever 20-Something Years Old – All I wanted was to go home quietly

Watching in advance of Yom Hazikaron the movie Follow Me, The Story of the Six Day War, one battle stood out – the recapture of Ammunition Hill and the national song, Givat Hatachmoshet  which was written depicting  the fateful battle. The most poignant words of the song are as follows:

“Maybe we were lions but if you wanted to live you should not have been on Givat Hatachmoshet.

We decided to blow up their bunker with the bazooka it made a few scratches on the concrete. We then decided to blow it up with explosives. The guy at the back would throw me the packs and I would put them at the entrance to their bunker. They had a system, first they would throw a grenade, then they shot a few shots and then they would rest, so between the grenades and the shots I ran and put explosives down. I had only four meters to move because there were Jordanians all over the place. I do not know why I got the Medal of Honor,

All I wanted was to go home quietly.

Smoke covered the hill the sun was rising in the east we were only seven, going back to the city from Givat Hatachmoshet.

And this is the story the story of trenches and bunkers the story of our brothers the men who remained 20 years old at Givat Hatachmoshet.”

 

Dedicate Ourselves to Building the Homes – in their memory

So on this Yom HaZikaron, as we sit in our “homes”, we can make a collective pledge to support initiatives dedicated to fostering “homes” – in the memory of those denied the opportunity.

As a Jewish people, our survival depends on the perpetuation of the family and the preservation on the home.  On this auspicious day we need to take stock of what will be the most lasting tribute to these courageous children whose sacrifice ensured our survival.

 

The time is now to focus on what will unite our country during these turbulent days of the Corona – and to me the best testimony to our resilience as a nation and to the lives of our fallen is to make marriage education a priority.

 

Together In Happiness

 

The vision of my nonprofit Together in Happiness/B’Yachad B’Osher is to establish a national movement for marriage education in Israel, in order to strengthen the foundation of Israeli society at large.

 

Case for Marriage Education

 

In my newly published The Case for Marriage Education, a section is devoted to documenting ways that Israelis can join initiatives to promote shalom bayit (peace in the home).

It is incumbent upon each home to perpetuate the memory of our fallen by making sure that our homes are reflective of the values that have united us as a people.

Dedication to St.-Sgt. Ari Weiss

Towards that end, this blog is dedicated to the memory of a special soldier who will forever be 21 years of age – St.-Sgt. Ari Weiss, who fell in battle on September 30, 2002, in a firefight with Hamas terrorists in Nablus. He was the son of Rabbi Stewart and Susie Weiss, two of my role models whose dedication to Am Yisrael epitomizes why we must dedicate our energies to building unity brick by brick in our homes.

We owe that to these brave soldiers who will never be under a chuppah and establish their own homes in Eretz Yisrael. I invite you to join me in making marriage education a national imperative. Please contact me for more information at marriageconf@gmail.com

About the Author
Susan Barth is founder and director of Israeli non profit Together in Happiness/B'Yachad B'Osher, promoting stronger, healthier marriages impacting Israeli society. A Project Management Professional (PMP) and businesswoman from the US, Susan sponsored and chaired the First International Conference on Marriage Education in Israel (attended by over 360 professionals) in Jerusalem in memory of her parents and launched I-PREP, an innovative marriage education curriculum. On November 8, 2017, Together in Happiness co-hosted with MK Yehudah Glick a historic Knesset seminar promoting government support for pre-marriage education
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