These and Those

Musings from Students of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem

Fallen Hero – In Memory of Jan Weiner Z"L

Posted on November 30, 2010 by Joel D.

Tags: , , , , ,

Bruised arms can keep no sword in its sheath.

Strength is found not in muscles but in might.

The soul exists as long as it is willing to fight.

Men rise up ready to battle marching for glory,

But men of reptilian cunning often write another story.

Faced by our enemies we smile at their broken teeth,

Through them we see forked tongues and no mercy beneath.

We are sent bare footed to walk on glass from our own house,

And they chase us as though as they’re a cat to our mouse.

Somehow the parade of our victory true,

Has been colored blood red with a dull grey hue.

Yet in greatest defeat when expected to drop,

We’ve continued to march and by God we’ll never stop.

– There are no coincidences. I sit here near to tears for today my hero has fallen. With sensitivity and compassion my fellow student came to me and asked if she could speak. She spoke honestly and kindly, but the blow was no less harsh.

On Wednesday November 24th Jan Weiner z’l, a soldier, a father, a teacher and a man I will never forget and never cease to praise, died.

It was announced only yesterday, so I could not have known for he died in his homeland, in the city of Prague.

Just a few days ago I told his story alongside that of my father’s for a Take 5. I said Jan was the strongest old man I know, knew. I said he was about 90, he was.

I can never, ever do what Jan did. We are blessed for his words and his story have been recorded in books and movies and countless interviews. Real heroes sometimes get that.

I am crying now, not just because I am sad to know he is no longer alive, but because I know that just as Jan was leaving our world I was bringing him to life through the stories of his life told to my community at Pardes. – There are no coincidences.

Jan, I salute you, I will never stop telling your story, I will never stop teaching and I will always strive to be, as you were and my father is, a bojovnik, a fighter.