Yehuda Dimentman was a soldier without a uniform who dedicated his life to rebuilding the Homesh settlement, and who was killed in a terror attack as he descended from that hilltop he so loved, recalled those who eulogized him on Friday.
“Don’t let Yehuda’s blood be spilled in vain,” Dimentman’s brother Shlomi cried out, as he spoke during the first leg of the day-long funeral that began under a black tent in Homesh. It held only a fraction of the mourners that came to bid farewell to the father of a toddler who studied at the small Homesh Yeshiva.
Dimentman was killed on Thursday when a Palestinian terrorist shot at the car in which he was a passenger, just as it left the Homesh hilltop and headed in the direction of the Shavei Shomron settlement where he lived.
At times one could hear sobs, and at other times angry shouts of “revenge!”
The IDF evacuated the small northern Samaria hilltop community in 2005, after it pulled out of Gaza. Activists have since built a small illegal yeshiva at the site, to hold the land until they could sway the government to rebuild the settlement.
“Yehuda was only nine when that happened,” recalled Samaria Regional Council head Yossi Dagan. “As a young boy he chose to carry the banner of that struggle so he could bring us home.” Dimentman, he said, came to the Homesh Yeshiva “in rain, in the cold, in the scorching heat of summer. When time and time again they [the IDF] came to evacuate them – he sat and studied Torah, and prayed that the people of Israel would recover, that we would all return together to our homes, to our land, without fear.”
Shlomi called out his brother’s name between sobs, noting that Yehuda had not traveled the traditional path and had chosen instead to go to the hilltops of Judea and Samaria, where he flourished.
“Yehuda did those things that were truly important,” Shlomi said as he recalled a life lived in joy and not anger, and how Yehuda and his wife would come there on Shabbat.
He noted bitterly that the whole family had voted for Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s Yamina Party. He called on Bennett to “repent” and fulfill “the words you spoke of not so long ago,” and to “rebuild the Homesh settlement and not just the Homesh Yeshiva. The ruins here are a black stain on the State of Israel.
“We will be here and we will risk our lives, the State of Israel should make sure that we live here in peace and tranquility. This is our country and we will not give it to anyone else.”
From Homesh the mourners traveled to Jerusalem’s Har Hamenuhot Cemetery for the burial.