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Purity of Arms

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World Machal Day Memorial Service on Yom Hazikaron, Wednesday 25th April, 2012 at Machal Memorial, Sha'ar Hagai  E-mail


Doreen Bliss, Joe Woolf, Smoky Simon, and Rabbinit Judith Engelman-Green
As the years go by, regretfully more and more of our Machal comrades are unable to be with us. Nevertheless the service this year was fairly well attended. A group of 12 non-Jewish Norwegians who were visiting Israel also joined us.
The M.C.’s of the service were Zippy Porath (USA) and Ruth Stern (South Africa). Fanny Aybes, widow of Joe Aybes (France) and Zvi Brand (UK) lowered the flag while our bugler Larry Brandt played the Israeli Reveille (Taps). The late Rafi Seroussi’s son Ariel lit the memorial flame, and Arieh Czeret (UK) laid the wreath together with Rachel Rotem, daughter of the late Shlomo Vogel, a Machalnik from Argentina. An officer of a Nachal unit laid a wreath on behalf of the Israel Defense Forces.
IDf representative after laying the wreath

Syd Kenny (South Africa) read out the names of the Fallen, and Stanley Berger (USA) then read out the 22 countries from which the Fallen came.

Joe Woolf, Machal’s Chief Researcher, chose to relate the story of fallen 103 Squadron Pilot, Wilf Canter from Canada, a poignant and moving account of a man who survived miraculously many perilous episodes during his service in World War II, only to fall when serving in Israel’s War of Independence.

Wilf Canter


Joe Woolf (South Africa)

The religious part of the service this year was conducted by Rabbinit Judit Engleman-Green, who gave an address both in English and Hebrew and also read Psalm no.9. Maurice Segal (SA) read Psalm no. 1 in English and Hebrew and this was followed by El Maleh Rachamim and Yizkor.

The service was attended by Udi Dror who is in charge of the IDF Department dealing with the current volunteers from abroad who serve for 14 months in the IDF. He was accompanied by Adv. Chaim Ben-Ami, Head of the Security Department of the Ministry of Defense, who addressed the participants and expressed his sincere thanks for the role Machal 1946-49 had played in Israel’s War of Independence.


Adv. Chaim Ben-Ami (Ministry of Defense)

Philip Harris (UK) sang Adon Alom and led the Hatikva.

After the service, the guard of honour of 13 current Machalniks from abroad met with veteran Machalniks to hear their stories.