World Jewish News
Sgt. Zachary Baumel being laid to rest on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem
The Kaddish, a Jewish prayer cited over the death of a close relative, was recited for the first time in honor of Baumel by his brother Shimon. Baumel's father who was meant to recite the prayer but never could because his son was never confirmed dead, died 10 years ago.
President Reuven Rivlin eulogized Baumel saying " Zachary a number of days before the Sultan Yacoub battle you wrote to your parents, don't worry, everything is fine, but I won't be coming home soon. 37 years later, you've returned home."
"This day, when we are bringing you to your eternal rest, almost four decades after you fell, is the day that Israel is keeping its vow to our fallen soldiers. Today we can say, we have done everything to return our sons home," Rivlin added.
Prime Minister Benajmin Netanyahu came to the funeral straight from the airport after arriving from Russia where he visited Russian President Vladimir Putin to thank him for his assistance in returning Baumel.
"The return of our missing soldiers is a sacred mission of all the governments of Israel [...] We have waited for this moment for 37 years," Netanyahu said.
Speaking about the difficult battle at Sultan Yacoub Netanyahu said that what has remained of Baumel from that battle is his uniform from the tank corp and his tzizit, ritual fringes worn by religious men.
Netanyahu vowed to also return the bodies of the remaining soldiers who are still missing.
"The ground of Jerusalem is now receiving one of its sons," the Prime Minister said.
IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said that "every mother and father who entrusts their child to the IDF, should know that it will not rest until that child is returned home. Time does not diminish this commitment."
"The mission has not been completed," Kochavi added.
Baumel's sister Osna thanked the IDF for its immense efforts to locate her brother body.
"One doesn't know how many people were working on this until they arrive at the house all at once," she said.
Her brother was a modest man, she said, who would not have understood what all this was about, Osna said, "but yes, this is for you, because you gave your all."
"I am releasing you to the earth, because the land is very good," she cocluded.