Who Is A Hero? - ?

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Show #1

In the 1st show, a military sergeant spoke about his part in a mission to take over an enemys base in the south.

It was pitch black outsidewe could not see a thing. We had to pass a fence and reach the base, but the barbed wires were tangledour General screamed out: Who is doing the job?

Without even thinking, I immediately jumped up and volunteered. I had to lie down on top of the barbed wire fence so that the rest of my friends could pass the 1st obstacle. I got up from the fence and bullets were being fired all around meI started running to the enemys base while throwing grenades and firing my weapon at the enemy. An enemys bullet scratched my right hand, but I kept runningI had toI wasnt scared, I knew somebody had to do itIf not for me, the mission might failIt was extremely difficult. All of my fellow soldiers were liying down under the bases entrance because of the heavy fire that was aimed at usand then I decided I must stop he enemys fire. I got up, ignoring the heavy fire and attack we were under, and I threw a grenade towards the source of the shootings. My life was at riskI did it for my country, my land

Show #2

In the 2nd show, Nadya Toutreshtein, a new immigrant from Russia spoke about the mission of printing a Hagada for Pesach in Russia.

It was about a month before Pesach, and we wanted to have an appropriate Seder for Pesach, but we did not have Hagadot. There were laws forbidding Jews to celebrate Pesach and to buy Hagadotbut I decided I was going to do it, no matter the cost.

I dressed up as a Christian priest, and I entered a church. At the church, I went to the library and snuck out one Hagada. In order to create more copies of the Hagada, I recruited a few friends that were active in the Jewish community to help me out. We opened a small printing house for Hagadot for Pesach. The risk was enormousIf we were to be caught, we would have been sent to SiberiaI dont wish that to anyone

We went to the stores and bought only two sheets of white paper at a time...any more would have raised a suspicion...We found an old machine...I told my neighbors I was going away for a week but really I stayed in my basement, so that they would not hear the noise from the machineIt was hot and crowded, we had very little waterSeveral times we heard knocks on the door, my heart almost stopped beatingFinally, with much effort, we successfully printed 6 copies of the Hagada LePesach, 1 for each 2 families. It was also forbidden to have the Seder, so I risked my life again and we had it in my basementToday, in Israel, things are quite different

Show #3

In the 3rd show, Avi, a teacher, talked about a child he worked with in the mentoring program they had at school. (Big Brother Big Sister Program). Avi received a shy, closed second-grader that had terrible complications both at school and at home. At first, the pairing between them seemed unfitting, but something in the boys eyes caught Avi and he decided to try to work with him anyways.

The beginning was very difficultmany long hours I tried to break the barrier the child built around himself. It was a great challenge. Slowly, however, my efforts started paying off At the same time, I suddenly felt as if my whole life is revolving around this child. I started getting lower grades at school; I neglected my connection with friends and stopped doing the hobbies I used to during my free time.

My friends started mocking me: Is the child willing to let you out for a few hours?! I started turning from a popular and loved person to a source of laughter and sarcasm. I felt awfulThe hardest part was when I had to decide if to participate in the schools basketball championship (Which I really wanted to be in) and leave the second-grader or to continue working with him but give up the championshipmy social state was at stakeAt the end of the year, I received the schools Mentoring Award.

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Yitzhak Sadeh, (1890-1952) was the commander of the Palmach and one of the founders of the Israel Defense Forces at the time of the independence of the State of Israel.

Pathways to Valor (Heroism) -- Yitzchak Sadeh 

Heroism is not the peak of achievement. It is a pathway towards a goal, a path that allows for no shortcuts. Like all paths, it has its branches, and sometimes those branches lead downwards. The true path always leads in one direction: to the top of the mountain. We try to find the path to heroism for ourselves, despite the risk falling off course, of falling into the abyss.

Let us note that the essence of heroism is not bravery, but rather a readiness to sacrifice oneself. Heroism can even manifest itself in the coward, so long as he is willing to make such a sacrifice. Indeed, true heroism reveals itself in the way we live our lives each day. We normally associate the term heroism with those in the military, for understandable reasons: the soldier is willing to sacrifice himself, is that not the ultimate sacrifice?

This, however, is far from the only pathway to the peak of heroism. It may be a pathway that we idealize, but recall that there are thousands of trails to the top of the mountain.

Heroism takes precedent over all moral values in that the sacrifice that it demands is not a cruel or selfish one, but is rather the ultimate form of giving. At its core, heroism in the love of the other.

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Israeli military decoration

Medal of Valor

The highest Israeli military decoration. The medal is awarded for an act of heroism in front of the enemy, at a risk of life.

To this day, 40 medals have been awarded: 12 during the Independence War, 5 during the Sinai War, 12 during the Six-Day War, 8 during the Yom Kippur War and 3 others awarded on other occasions.

Avigdor Kahalani

During the Yom-Kippur War, Avigdor Kahalani commanded a hastily assembled group of tanks and crews from different armor units. The group repelled a vastly superior Syrian force which had overrun the Israeli positions in the first days of the war, in the Golan Heights region of northern Israel. During the battle Kahalani stood outside the tank turret so all the soldier would be able to see him. It is a rear thing to do and almost cost Kahalani's life. The battle proved to be one of the turning points of the war. After the war, the valley where it took place was littered with dozens of burned Syrian tanks and was renamed "Emek Ha-Bacha" ("The Valley of Tears").

Medal of Courage

The medal is awarded for an act of gallantry at the risk of life, during fulfillment of combat duty.

To this day 220 awards have been made, the latest were in 2005 after a period of 23 years in which the medal was not awarded. In 2007 it was announced that the medal would be awarded to six soldiers who fought during the Second Lebanon War.

During a raid to Syria in 1955 Rafael Eitan went in front of his soldiers. While standing on a cliff facing the enemy's fire, he destroyed a shooting spot which prevented the Israeli soldiers from moving.

Medal of Distinguished Service

The medal is awarded for an act of exemplary bravery in the line of duty. To date, 600 medals have been awarded, the last in 2007. Two recipients have been awarded the medal twice.

Esther Arditi was a medic in the Israeli air force. A week after she started her service, a military plane was crushed during training near Arditi's base. Ester, only 17 years old, drove on the ambulance even though she didn't have a driving license. When she came to the burning plane she heard the navigator's shouting and hurried to rescue him. After she putted the injured navigator in a safe place she returned the plane to save the pilot. Few seconds after she went out the plane with the pilot the plane exploded. Esther Arditi is the only female who received the Medal.


Chief of staff citation (Tzalash)

The citation is awarded for an act of excellence that is not reach with its rank to a medal.

Haitem Saab

During the Second Lebanon War a building, with soldiers from "Orev" company, was attacked with Anti-tank guided missiles. Numbers of soldiers were injured and Haitem Saab, a doctor in the medical corps who volunteered to go the war, was one of them. Dr. Saab was injured in his eyes, got shards in different parts on his body and because of the shocks wave his ability to hear got weaken. Despite his condition he refused to evacuate and start providing first aid to at least ten soldiers. When the tank arrived to get the injured soldiers Dr. Saab stayed until the last soldier was released.

Rafael Eitan


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