It’s been exactly three years since the day all of Israel—and the mechina world in particular—was rattled by the loss of ten young people in a flood in Tzafit Gully. There are no words for the pain, and there is nothing that can bring back the lives that were pointlessly lost.
To mark the third anniversary of the Mechinat Bnei Zion disaster, a ceremony was held this Thursday in the gully, with the participation of representatives of the mechinot and the bereaved families. Among those present were Minister of Settlement Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi and former ministry director general Avi Naim.
“From here, Tzafit Gully, we commit and dedicate ourselves to continue striving to learn, to put things in order, and especially to correct, both as individuals and as organizations, so we can continue to hike our beautiful land, but without endangering human life”
The ceremony was broadcast on Sunday at 8:00 p.m. on the website of the Joint Council of Mechinot. It was simultaneously screened for the thousands of mechina students across Israel, to help ensure that the next generation of leaders learn the lessons of the disaster well.
Ahead of the ceremony, groups of mechina heads and directors hiked along the route taken by the victims.
“Today,” said Dani Zamir, CEO of the Joint Council of Mechinot, “we walked along the gully again, for the second year, together with Sarit and Itzik, the parents of Ella Or, and Arik, the father of Shani Shamir. We followed the route of the hike, which ended in a terrible disaster. We listened and we said nothing.”
“From here, Tzafit Gully,” said Mechinat Lachish head and Joint Council cochairman Yaniv Mezuman during the ceremony, “we commit and dedicate ourselves to continue striving to learn, to put things in order, and especially to correct, both as individuals and as organizations, so we can continue to hike our beautiful land, but without endangering human life.”
The third annual Tzafit Gully disaster commemoration
Zamir said: “We want to take action so the disaster’s lessons will be assimilated and become a part of every day at every mechina, part of our dedication to a relevant, vibrant, and active educational system part of whose rhythm of activity is its dedication to the sanctity and the preservation of life.”
Minister of Settlement Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi said: “During the hike, the head of Mechinat Rabin told me that in his time, he’s gone on many hikes with heavy loads on his back, but here, he feels as if he were carrying a thousand tons, because it’s not just a physically challenging effort. It’s something immense sitting on all our chests.”
“The gully must never depart from us in our exercise of the responsibilities with which we are charged. This gully teaches us, through the enormous flood of ethical universes that it symbolizes, that the disaster symbolizes, and foremost among these is the sanctity of human life. May the memory of the young people be blessed.”
May the memory of those who perished in the terrible disaster always remain in our hearts, a perpetual reminder of the obligation we all bear.
Minister Tzachi Hanegbi with Sarit and Itzik, parents of Tzafit Gully disaster victim Ella Or