Stunning Speech By Menahem Kalmanson, October 7th Hero Who Received Israel Prize For Civic Heroism

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JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Menahem Kalmanson, a member of the “Elhanan Team”, a family unit which bravely entered Kibbutz Beeri on Oct. 7th, fought terrorists and rescued over 100 members of the kibbutz, spoke at the Israel prize ceremony, after the team received the Civil Heroism prize for their efforts. Menahem’s brother Elhanan HyD was killed by terrorists after 16 hours of fighting, and is survived by his wife and six children.

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“This ceremony answers the question “Why are we here?”, a question that echoed throughout the past year as dissension and dispute raged in the country and threatened to tear us apart from within. The question “Are we still brothers?” continued to echo until  the sirens of Simchat Torah echoed and our enemies awaiting our demise came out of their trenches and attacked.

“On Shabbat afternoon my older brother Elhanan, who is so sorely missed by me at this moment, called on me and Itiel (a nephew) to go with him to the south. Despite the fear he chose to go in time after time. We didn’t ask ourselves why we are doing this -“I am looking for my brothers”. In the middle of the night we were already very tired but we couldn’t stop, as Itiel said “When you know your brother is in danger you don’t really have a choice.”

“When we reached the home of the Meir family, Michal refused to open the door. She begged from behind the door “Speak so that I can hear your Hebrew and didn’t open until I cried “Shma Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad” and then the door opened immediately. I admit, it wasn’t a prayer it was a cry: I’m a Jew, I’m here for you, please open the door.” This call, this cry for unity, echoed around the region that day as thousands of soldiers went out of a sense of deep responsibility and endangered their lives for their brothers. This point which we nearly lost- the sense of brotherliness and mutual fate.

“Elchanan knew the difficulties and weaknesses of this nation and still chose to enter the Kibbutz, as he knew the people of Israel deserve this. In the last few months as dissension arose again, we -the bereaved families, met the families of the hostages from such different backgrounds and with so much pain. Everyone there was concerned about the country, lives, hostages and we had such different views. We listened argued, looked one another in the eyes and became full of love which led us to humility. As with all brotherly love, you can’t always explain what makes your brother so unique and why he has no possible exchange, as he is a brother.”

Kalmanson concluded by saying that “We cannot continue to fight without seeing the good in this nation, as the blood of our brothers cries out from the ground, as we are our brother’s keeper.”

 


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