Wednesday, August 20, 2014

David Gordon

Last update: August 21, 2014

know David Gordon. I know him through my youngest daughter. She knew David Gordon because he went to her Hebrew High School for a while. She also knew him through the OU’s NCSY (National Council of Synagogue Youth) Program.

David Gordon was part of a chevra (group) of young people, recent High School graduates, who came to Israel. They came to pursue their religious studies. My daughter was one of them. They all stayed.

They made aliyah. They became Israelis. They joined some form of National Service. The boys went in to the Israel Defense Force (IDF). They became ‘lone soldiers’.

A ‘lone soldier’ is one who has no immediate family in Israel. This is an important fact because soldiers in the IDF typically need family support to purchase personal items and some military gear. They also need immediate family because, in Israel, soldiers typically go home for Shabbat. If one has no immediate family here, he could have no place to go.

Israel maintains a ‘lone soldier program’. It helps these very special young men who have come here alone to defend us.

My daughter stays in contact with her chevra. She helps them. In a way, she’s a big sister for them. She’s ‘family’ for them.

David Gordon was part of that ‘family’.

Monday morning, August 18, 2014, our own family received disturbing news. David Gordon had disappeared.

I had seen David earlier. He had recently returned from combat duty in Gaza. He was still exhausted from close to three weeks of constant combat. He said that he hadn’t changed clothes in ‘weeks’. He was happy to be able to relax.

He looked good. Yes, he had lost a ‘ton’ of weight since I had last seen him. He also had too much sunburn on his face. He was really tired.

But he looked strong. He was confident. He said that, when he had gone into combat, he felt well-trained. He felt prepared. He felt ready to do what he was supposed to do. I will not share with you details, but I gather from him that his assignment was extremely dangerous. He said that he felt good about what he did and how well he did it.

He said he was ready for more training. He looked forward to it.

I would say that, from his remarks, he had found a calling. In my opinion, he had discovered that defending Israel was something he wanted to do. He was not only ready to do that, but eager for the challenges he would now face because of that decision.

Now, Monday, August 18, he was missing. The police were taking his disappearance seriously. They were tracking leads aggressively, to create a time-line of his movements. On Tuesday, August 19, the press announced his disappearance. Arutz Sheva was the first to headline, “Public Asked for Help Finding Missing Soldier”. The story said,

“The Israel Police seeks the public's help in search of a missing soldier, David Menachem Gordon, 21, who was last seen on Sunday at about 12:00 pm in the Medical Corps facility in Tzrifin.
Gordon is 170 cm tall, has a medium build, brown eyes and black hair.
He was wearing the crisp, off-base Aleph or "A" IDF uniform with the purple Givati Brigade beret, was carrying a Micro Tavor gun and a large blue and back hiking backpack.
Gordon speaks both Hebrew and English with a prominent American accent.
Anyone with information on Gordon's whereabouts is asked to call the Police hotline at 100, or 08-927-9244.”

Soon after, Haaretz published a headline with no story. Then Ynet and The Jerusalem Post ran a story similar to Arutz Sheva’s, suggesting a press release being repeated at each news outlet.  Then, an hour behind that, The Times of Israel came on board.

That night, Haaretz was the first to report, “Missing U.S.-Israeli soldier found dead, army says”. The worst had been confirmed. David Menachem Gordon, our family friend, one of Israel’s lone soldiers, was dead.

The details of what happened have not yet been released.  No doubt, there will be more to read about David. Right now, gossip--much of it not pleasant, some of it untrue, all of it not proper--fills the vacuum.

Rebbitizin Esther Jungreis has a book titled, Life is a Test. That’s what this story is for you—a test.

 Will you read about David Gordon’s death and speak Lashon Harah (gossip)? When you learn about David Gordon’s death, will you turn against aliyah? When you read that David Gordon is dead, will you turn against supporting Israel?

David Gordon has proved he is a bona fide hero. He was a proud young soldier. He stood where many fear to stand. He defended you against an enemy who wants to exterminate you (“Hamas Spells it Out: Our Aim is the Extermination of the Jews”, Arutz Sheva, July 29, 2014).

David Gordon stood up for Israel. Will you stand up for him?


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