Bereaved Father Serves Instead of His Daughter

May 4, 2012  

Maayan Naim, a soldier who served in the Tel Hashomer base, was killed in a terror attack during her military service. Arutz Sheva met her father, Chaim, at the base in which she served.

After his daughter’s death Chaim, who at the time was a peddler in the market, decided that he wanted to continue her path in every sense of the word, and serve in the same place where she had served. Chaim joined the base as an IDF employee.

The loss of Maayan is felt at the base, whether it’s in the corners dedicated in her memory or in the connection between Chaim and those who knew Maayan and served with her in the base before she was killed.

Chaim put up some pictures, painted the place, and cleaned it up so it feels more like home.

“The place didn’t look so good when I came here, so I cleaned it up a bit,” he said. “I put up some decorations. I planted a little garden here and I made a little spring (maayan in Hebrew means spring) and whoever understands it will understand.”

Chaim’s way of dealing with his loss is a source of inspiration to all those who surround him. Chaim didn’t bring his mourning to the base, but more of the liveliness of the market, where he worked before his daughter’s death.

Michelle Meidan Yanko, Casualty Officer of the Logistics Corps, said that “Chaim’s integration in the base is actually the family’s return to life. He has an opportunity to get up in the morning and go to a place where he can express his sorrow and his pain in a way that helps the system.”

She recalled that Chaim “spent some time in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, bringing each soldier his equipment. It’s something that really helped him. It also endangered him a bit, and that’s why he stopped doing it, but it’s something that really helped him and his family. Mazal, his wife, also comes here sometimes, once in a while. It’s something that allows them to see that the IDF remembers Maayan and for them to give to the army as gratitude for Maayan’s service and for everything that is done for them. They really appreciate it.”

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