On Yom Hazikaron: Remembering Michael Levin, one of the many IDF heroes who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for Israel

I was in the studio audience last night for a special Sunday Yom HaZikaron episode of Tuesday Night Live in Jerusalem –  one of the largest English TV show broadcast out of Israel.

The show included an interview with the Mother and twin sister of fallen IDF Hero,’Lone Soldier’ Mikey Levine z’l who was killed in action in the Second Lebanon War in 2006 – one of three soldiers killed on August 1, 2006 in clashes with Hezbollah in the southern Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab.

Michael Levin

Born and raised in my hometown of Philadelphia, Michael grew up in a traditional, American Jewish household, was active in USY and attended Camp Ramah in the Poconos. In February of 2001, Michael came to Israel for two months and attended the Alexander Muss high school program. After graduating high school, Michael attended the NATIV USY year-long program in Israel. In his NATIV yearbook he wrote:

“You can’t fulfill your dreams unless you dare to risk it all”

At the young age of 16, Michael already decided that he wanted to move to Israel and join a front-line combat unit in the IDF. He followed his dream three years later, and immigrated to Israel.

Upon arrival in Israel, Michael wasn’t about to tolerate the built-in delay that allows most new immigrants several months to settle in and adjust to the Israeli way of life before starting IDF training. Michael fought for — and received — special permission to join the IDF almost right away. Once in, he fought again to get into the elite Paratroopers Brigade, becoming one of the few former Americans ever to do so, joining the elite paratroop unit #890 shortly thereafter.

In summer of 2006 Michael had received special permission to travel to the United States to visit his family, but when he heard about the outbreak of the war he decided to end his trip and return to help his unit. He went straight to his commanders and demanded to be sent up north to defend Israel against Hezbollah. Seven days later he was killed.

On Tisha B’Av Michael Levin was laid to rest at Mount Herzl Cemetery. His family flew in from the U.S., where they were joined by literally thousands of people from all over Israel who came to pay tribute to his memory, his heroism.

His parents founded the Michael Levin Lone Soldier Center in Michael’s memory, which provides immigrant soldiers who don’t have family in Israel with Shabbat meals, housing, furniture and social events and support.

Michael Levin made the ultimate sacrifice for the Jewish State that he loved so much.

May G-d console his family among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.

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35 replies »

  1. If I was his age again I would do the same thing.
    This story brought tears to my eyes.

    God, filled with mercy, dwelling in the heavens’ heights, bring proper rest beneath the wings of your Shechinah, amid the ranks of the holy and the pure, illuminating like the brilliance of the skies the souls of our beloved and our blameless who went to their eternal place of rest. May You who are the source of mercy shelter them beneath Your wings eternally, and bind their souls among the living, that they may rest in peace. And let us say: Amen.

  2. Who was the IDF soldier who jumped on an explosive advice to save his comrades during the Second Lebanon War and was killed? One of the bravest men I’ve ever heard of.

  3. Yes! Let’s celebrate the death of a misguided hothead, who died so that Ariel Sharon could grandstand on murder and get elected.

    • Oh Sanity the well informed wise preacher!

      Please explain to us ignorants how could Ariel Sharon get elected in 2006?

      BTW The “misguided hothead” Mickey’s dirty underwear is worth a thousand more than your polite dinner parties and the wretched lives of their hosts and guests.

    • Sanity, your repulsive comments do serve one useful purpose. They crystallize precisely why I made Aliyah in the first place, who are enemies are, and how many out there possess a hate towards the sovereign Jewish state which is simply insatiable. I assure you that our will to live is stronger than your visceral animosity towards our existence. Am Y’israel Chai!

  4. “so that Ariel Sharon could grandstand on murder and get elected.”

    As Ariel Sharon was in a vegetative state as the result of a stroke, like all your other anti-Israeli theories, I think that most unlikely.

    Compared to the “greatest Briton”, Winston Churchill (mustard gas/Holocaust/Dresden/Hiroshima), Ariel Sharon was a saint.

    100 Greatest Britons


  5. Mea culpa, though I do see Ariel Sharon and Olmert as virtually one and the same.


    Once again, ignorant commentators try to skirt around the issues by drawing attention to other war criminals. What, am I meant to be impressed?

    What is most hilarious is how similar the martyrdom ceremonies for Israeli martyrs are as they are for Hezbullah ones. Still, tomayto tomato.

  6. “Mea culpa”

    Glad to see that you admit to being a fool.

    “Once again, ignorant commentators try to skirt around the issues by drawing attention to other war criminals.”

    Skirting nothing. Ariel Sharon was a great Jewish hero. The thing is that you are judging Jews by a standard you apply to no other people on earth. If you did apply that standard, you would see that there is nothing to distinguish the British from any other group of racist mass-murderers.

    “What is most hilarious is how similar the martyrdom ceremonies for Israeli martyrs are as they are for Hezbullah ones.”

    I feel the same way about British ceremonies. A Nazi in a bowler hat is still a Nazi.

  7. There’s nothing to distinguish the British from the Nazis? Is that a sentiment widely shared on this website?

  8. “Is that a sentiment widely shared on this website?”

    I have no idea, but the truth is that if the Germans had invaded Britain in 1940, the only difference between the British and the Nazis would have been the use of the words “please” and “thank you” as Jews were pushed into gas chambers. Perhaps.

  9. Sanity

    There’s nothing to distinguish the British from the Nazis?

    Only your kind of British who seemingly gets his perverse satisfaction when goes to a funeral and laughs during the ceremony. Seems to me that your guests of your polite dinner parties didn’t teach you some common decency.

    Calling your opponents ignorant after demonstrating your total cluelessness about the subject is exactly what can be expected from you.

    You are a real asset here on this blog so please keep posting.

  10. Hungarian, your comment seems like a bit of a non sequitur (that’s Latin, by the way).

    Hoi Polloi, are you saying that the British perpetrated a holocaust against Jews?

  11. Hoi Polloi, are you saying that the British perpetrated a holocaust against Jews?

    Naturally the fact that the Brits had a huge indirect and a smaller direct responsibility regarding the Holocaust is a fact what hosts and guests of polite dinner parties with the knowledge of three or four Latin expressions never heard about. You know some Arabic and Hebrew as well?

  12. It’s nice how you turn this from a discussion on the perverse bellicosity (cult of the martyr) that exists among Israeli youth into wild accusations against all British citizens (including Jewish ones I take it?) for perpetrating a holocaust of Jews. Good work!

    • Wild accusations?

      Have you ever heard of the complicity of the British police in the deportation of the Jews from the Channel Islands? The denial of entry into the UK and the colonies of the Jewish refugees? The murder and robbing of the Jews deported to Australia on the ships by the British guards and sailors? Maybe the complicity of the British officers in the murder of the civilians of Gush Etzion?

      Seems to me that you have a lot to learn about your own history…

  13. “Have you ever heard of….”

    Much more than that. There was direct complicity in the Holocaust by the British. They were, inter alia, at the heart of the conspiracy which prevented Jews from escaping Europe. I’ve posted links about this so many times, I refuse to do so again purely for the benefit of an individual like Sanity. If he’s really interested, he can, for example, check out the conduct of the British at Evian and Bermuda, the 1939 White Paper, the Struma, the BBC’s role in maintaining the silence, Anthony Eden’s virulently anti-Semitic comments to the Americans, and all the other obvious stuff. But he won’t because he doesn’t like Jews very much, or at least he doesn’t like Jews that fight back. The Jews that he prefers walk meekly to the deaths whilst his swinish kinsmen turn their backs. And naturally, while he accuses Jews of “bellicosity” just for defending themselves against the depredations of Islamofascism, at the same time he will never recognise the mass-murder that Britain has carried out over the centuries and right up to the present day. That’s all part of his bigotry. I’m not sure you can even blame him or the millions like them. After all, they suck it in with their mothers’ diseased milk. It’s what makes them so like the Nazis.

    • Hoi Polloi

      You should go easy on Sanity. He is in distress, we proudly celebrate today our independence and the huge success called the State of Israel while his kind of Jew -hating British snobs mourn their hero who became a slightly lead polluted fish food and add to this the Nakba Day too…

  14. Like I said, rather than discuss the Israeli cult of the martyr (cf. Party of Allah) you choose instead to change the subject. So long as you realise that means you’ve lost the argument, we can all be happy.

    • Sanity

      You have learnt from your Hezb’allah teachers the way: losing the the war and declaring divine victory. But if it makes you happy…
      And BTW it is not you who after being unable to answer your opponents’ arguments changes the subject?
      Just asking… Maybe you should reread the thread…

  15. “Like I said, rather than discuss the Israeli cult of the martyr (cf. Party of Allah) you choose instead to change the subject.! insanitary

    Only fools discuss non-subjects. Fits you, though. You can discuss it with yourself, after pouring over the coming Marxian revolution.

  16. See the pathetic sanitary squirm and attempt to desecrate the memory of someone who died for his country, a true hero, with no need to tempt him with virgins or rewards in a squalid hereafter.

    • How can you not see how the IDF and its cult of the martyr is exactly the same? I know the IDF is the dehumanising experience par excellance, but still.

      • You must be the type who thinks all cops are oppressive manifestations of The Man sent to put the “little people” down–you know, the kind who have been calling cops “pigs” since the 1960s.

  17. “Why do you say that the cult of the martyr is a non-subject?”insanitary

    You said “the IDF and its cult of the martyr”, that´s a non-subject and you know it. The real subject, as everyone in the modern world knows is the ISLAMIC DEATH CULT, for which there´s dayly examples and piles of bodies to witness.

    Your pathetic attempt at moral equivalence fails, as everything else with you.

      • Yes, it´s statement of fact. Only you feign you don´t know it. It´s your ideological problem.

        • No, as you can see from the blog post above, which celebrates the martyrdom of this unfortunate hothead in religious terms, the cult of martyrdom is alive and well (ahem) in Israeli society. Just like the Party of Allah.

  18. I know the IDF is the dehumanising experience par excellance, but still.” insanitary

    No, you know nothing. You are just a parrott, or ventriloquist dummy, repeating your Marxoid mantras. You are lost, sweetie, just face it and get a life. Begin by trying to think for yourself for once in your life.

  19. Anyone care to comment on my argument that the religious / secular-Zionist extremist cult of the martyr in the IDF (ahem, IOF) is remarkably similar to the cult of the martyr in Hezbollah?