14 Days: Baumel Buried

Baumel’s remains were recovered in Syria with the aid of the Russian Army.

Baumel's burial (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Baumel's burial
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Brooklyn-born Sgt. , one of three IDF soldiers who went missing in action during the Battle of Sultan Yacoub in the 1982 Lebanon War, at the age of 21, was buried on Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl Military Cemetery on April 4. Baumel’s remains were recovered in Syria with the aid of the Russian Army. “I promise we will continue to invest every effort to also return our other missing and fallen, including Zachary’s comrades – Tzvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz – as well as Eli Cohen, Ron Arad, Oron Shaul, Hadar Goldin and other MIAs,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “We will not cease this sacred mission.”
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Cave Research Center (CRC), announced at the end of March that researchers had discovered the world’s longest salt cave in the Mount Sodom area near the Dead Sea. The 7,000-year-old Malham Cave, which is 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) long, was traced with the aid of laser technology by an international team led by the CRC. The record for the world’s longest cave was previously held by Iran.
Two tiny 2,600-year-old inscriptions in paleo-Hebrew writing were recently uncovered in a large First Temple structure in the City of David excavation, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced at the end of March. One is an agate seal of “Ikkar, son of Matanyahu” while the other is a clay seal of “Nathan-Melech, servant of the king.” “These artifacts attest to the highly developed system of administration in the Kingdom of Judah and add considerable information to our understanding of the economic status of Jerusalem and its administrative system during the First Temple period,” Prof. Yuval Gadot of Tel Aviv University and the IAA’s Dr. Yiftah Shalev said in a joint statement.
Education Minister Naftali Bennett announced on April 2 that Rona Ramon, the widow of Israeli astronaut Ilan Ramon and mother of Capt. Asaf Ramon who became a leading advocate for Israeli youth after their deaths, would be posthumously awarded the 2019 Israel Prize for Lifetime Achievement. “Rona Ramon is an Israeli hero full of giving and light,” Bennett said. “Despite losing two of those dearest to her, Rona chose life and devoted her life to working for society.” Bennett also awarded the prize to Chaim and Miri Ehrental, who founded Zichron Menachem, a Jerusalem-based organization that provides support for young people with cancer, in 1990, in honor of their oldest child, Menachem, who died of leukemia when he was 15. The Israel Prizes will be presented on Independence Day on May 9.
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro visited Israel in early April, his first trip outside South America. Bolsonaro visited the Western Wall together with Prime Minister Netanyahu and although he did not announce the relocation of his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, he did open a trade mission in the capital. “I feel as if I have arrived home,” said Bolsonaro, a devout Christian. “I love Israel.”
Israel opened its first embassy in Rwanda in April, its 11th in Africa. “I’m certain that the opening of an Israeli Embassy in Rwanda will elevate, within a few years, our ties to Rwanda and the continent as a whole to a much higher level,” said Foreign Ministry Director-General Yuval Rotem. Rwanda opened an embassy in Tel Aviv in 2015, and Rwanda’s national airline, RwandAir, is set to begin direct flights to Israel soon.
Harold “Smoky” Simon. (Nefesh B'Nefesh)Harold “Smoky” Simon. (Nefesh B'Nefesh)
The aliyah nonprofit organization, Nefesh B’Nefesh, announced on April 1 that it is awarding its 2019 Sylvan Adams Bonei Zion Prize to seven English-speaking immigrants who have made major contributions to Israel. Its Lifetime Achievement Award is being given to South African immigrant Harold “Smoky” Simon, 99, (pictured) for his role in the development of the Israel Air Force and World Machal. Other recipients are Israel advocate Michael Dickson, educator Dr. Beverly Gribetz, epidemiologist Dr. Ora Paltiel, social worker Leah Abramowitz, sports educator Danny Hakim, and medic Miriam Ballin.