Jerusalem, July 23: An estimated 30,000 Israelis from all over the country paid their respects to Max Steinberg ז”ל who was buried in Jerusalem’s Mt. Herzl military cemetery today. He was 24 when he was killed in action in Gaza on Shabbat, July 19. He was proud to be a sharpshooter in the Golani Brigade.
Most of the crowd did not know Steinberg. They came because someone sent them an email or they saw something on Facebook or in their newspaper. Such is the power of social media. Such is the respect Israelis have for lone soldiers – like Steinberg – who come to Israel to serve in the IDF. According to the Friends of the IDF there are an estimated 2,800 lone soldiers. About 950 join annually.
We stood in the hot sun for more than an hour and a half.
Stuart and Jake Steinberg, Max’s father and brother said Kaddish and thousands of people answered “Amen.” In one voice. As one community. As one people.
“You came to Israel because you wanted to contribute,” one of his commanders said. “Max, you taught us what Zionism is. You taught us about Ahavat Yisrael.”
Stuart and Evie Steinberg, Max’s mother, spoke about their son’s life. “Thank you for honoring our son,” his father said. “When people ask me if we have any regrets, my answer is an unequivocal ‘no,’” he said.
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