Funeral for soldier accidently killed in training exercise
Funeral for soldier accidently killed in training exercise. (photo credit:TOVAH LAZAROFF)


The first and last letter Aharon Rosales ever wrote to his son Ishai, was the eulogy he read out-loud by the freshly covered grave in Jerusalem’s Mt. Herzl Military Cemetery early Thursday morning.

“Your mother and I would wait for you to walk into the house with your large smile. Now you will never walk through our door again,” said Aharon.

He stood under a bright outdoor lighting system, that broke the cemetery’s chilly darkness. Although it was just past 1 a.m., thousands of mourners crowded Aharon as he utter his last words to his son in softly spoken Spanish, that was immediately translated into Hebrew and carried over a micro-phone system.

The family had moved to Israel from Mexico in 2001. Aharon, his wife live in the religious moshav of Beit Meir that is located outside of Jerusalem in the direction of Tel Aviv.

Ishai, their second of five children, was a Lieutenant and a company commander in the Kfir Infantry Brigade. He was killed on Tuesday at the Tze’elim base in the Negev when a mortar shell exploded during a combat drill. He was posthumously promoted to captain.

Hours before the funeral his parent made a public plea for people to attend the funeral.

As Aharon looked out at the mourners he said that lacked the proper words to bid farewell to his son, who had given his life for his people and his new country.

“In the 24 hours since you were taken from us, I heard so many stories about you that I never knew,” he said.

“We can’t imagine the Sabbath table without you. There will be an empty chair for you at the table each Shabbat so that you will remain a part of us,” Aharon said.

“You have left us here with a broken heart but we are happy because we know that you are in heaven,” Aharon said.

“We love you, we will always love,” he added.

Ishai’s younger Michael, 21, who is also serving in the IDF, said “Everyone who knew him, loved him.”

In a sing-song voice, Rabbi Yitzhak Adelson said the Rosales family could have stayed in Mexico where they could have had everything, but chose instead to come to Israel.

“You didn’t have to come. You volunteered to come,” said Adelson.

Ishai’s commander in the IDF said that the young man was an amazing leader, a modest man and a true friend, who had a good sense of humor.  He worried, understood, taught and invested in his soldiers, as if they were his own children.

“He did everything with a smile. Nothing was too difficult,” he commander said.

Addressing Ishai, he said, “I was proud to march by your side. I trusted you with any mission. as you guarded our country, you made use of every moment to advance yourself.”

When he had finished speaking, he saluted Ishai.

As reported by The Jerusalem Post