‘Where You Should Have Buried Me, I Bury You’

Major Yochai Kalengel, one of two Israeli soldiers killed in Hezbollah's attack on an IDF convoy near Har Dov Wednesday, was laid to rest Thursday on Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. 

The funeral of Staff Sergeant Dor Nini, the other IDF soldier killed in the attack, will be held at 3:00 p.m. in the cemetery of his hometown moshav Shatulim. 

Both Kalengel and Nini were killed when Hezbollah shot an anti-tank missile at the IDF vehicle they were driving in. Two others vehicles were damaged, and seven additional soldiers were wounded in the attack. 

Kalengel, 25, was a Company Commander of the Givati Infantry Brigade. He received an outstanding officer award by the IDF Chief of Staff just last year.

Born and raised in Elazar in Gush Etzion, Kalengel studied at the "Derekh Avot" High School in Efrat. He met his wife Tali, a resident of Efrat, seven years ago, and moved to Har Gilo when they married in 2012. 

He is survived by his Tali, a one-year-old daughter, Elinor, as well as his parents and several siblings. 

Kalengel's father was the first to eulogize him. "Where you should have buried me, I bury you." 

"Juha [Kalengel's nickname], you did any task in the best way possible," Givati Commander Kobi Bar-El eulogized. "You were an ambitious and professional officer who came such a long way." 

"You were a leading company commander in the battalion. You knew how to stand for what was yours and sweep everyone along with you." 

"Yesterday, when we feared the abduction of Israeli soldiers, even after you'd been hit and killed, everyone clung to your body so they would not be able to kidnap you." 

"I turn to your family and tell them that this battalion will do everything to strengthen them," Bar-El concluded. 

Major Kalengel's former commander also spoke at the funeral: "In order for the nation to live a normal life, there are a handful of people who will not, and you Juha are one of them." 

"To the enemy that struck him down, I say: You are cowards. If you had come to fight him, you would not have returned home alive. And to his wife I say tell Elinor who Juha was, her father, who did everything for the people of Israel."

Kalengel drove to the north on Tuesday night after celebrating his daughter Elinor's one year birthday. Just this week, he and his wife learned that she was four months pregnant with their second child. 

Friends described Kalengel as a devoted father and an exemplary family man, who gave his all to the soldiers he commanded. "He was fighting for the soldiers, able to stand on his own, but he knew how to accept criticism," one friend described. 

Kalengel's brothers, Tal and Elior, who were interviewed Wednesday, said: "This afternoon we received the horrible news about the death of our brother Yochai, or as we all called him, Juha." 

"Yochai fell on the northern border in the line of duty as a company commander. He was a great man, the salt of the earth, a warrior through and through." 

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Source: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/190665

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