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Our tribute to Bar Falah by his Birthright group

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Last February, we — a group of 20- and 30-something American Jews — visited Israel on Birthright. For a handful of those days, a few Israelis our own age became a part of our traveling family. Most had completed their military service and were either working or in university. One had chosen a military career as an officer in the Nahal Brigade. His name was Bar Falah, and he was killed in action last week.

In the early morning hours, Bar was leading an operation to arrest two suspected Palestinian terrorists. As IDF troops moved in to make the arrest, and with Bar leading the way, the terrorists opened fire and Bar was killed in the gun battle.

We knew Bar was a soldier, but we had the good fortune to get to know Bar, the caring, big-hearted man. When we first met him on a chilly Jerusalem morning, he arrived at our hotel in uniform looking somber and imposing. Broad and muscular, it was clear that a warrior stood before us. It didn’t take long for his serious exterior to give way to a young man with a big smile and big sense of humor.

Eric: “I was his roommate. And on maybe our second morning together, I knocked on the door to let him know it was time to leave. He opened the door wearing nothing and with a toothbrush hanging from his mouth. Without........

© The Times of Israel (Blogs)

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