A war of words over the legacy of Max Steinberg, fallen lone soldier
"What makes an American kid with shaky Hebrew and no ties to the state of Israel suddenly decide he is ready to make this sacrifice? Maybe Max was especially lost, or especially susceptible, or maybe he was just looking to do some good and became convinced by his Birthright experience that putting on an IDF uniform and grabbing a gun was the way to do it. That serving and protecting the Jewish people was the moral thing to do, and that the best way to accomplish it was to go fight for the Jewish state. It turns out that it’s not that hard to persuade young people to see the world a certain way and that Birthright is very good at doing it. You spend hundreds of millions of dollars to convince young Jews that they are deeply connected to a country that desperately needs their support? This is what you get. " Alison Benedikt, Slate 7/22/14
"On behalf of our entire family, we want to answer the question on the minds of many people," his father Stuart began a eulogy Wednesday, as tens of thousands of Israelis who had never known Sgt. Max Steinberg, listened in a rapt, strikingly respectful silence.
The question: "'Do you have any regrets that Max enlisted in the IDF as a 'lone soldier' (in his case, one whose family lives abroad)?"
Stuart Steinberg continued without hesitation. "The answer is an unequivocal No. " An outpouring of support, love, gratitude, and appreciation, first for Max in life, and then for the family "helped to erase any possible doubt." Max Steinberg's father at funeral on Har Herzl, 7/23/14
"I was once a kid growing up in the Valley, like Max, not at all particularly interested in Israel, much more into music and sports. Only when I visited here, did I understand what Max would as well. Kool-Aid has nothing to do with it. Nor indoctrination, nor millions of dollars, nor uniforms and guns.
It's the people who are here. Not everyone, but an extraordinary number, given the circumstances. Decent, loving, wounded, coping. They have everything to do with it." --Bradley Burston, Haaretz, 7/29/14
Question for thought:
In what ways have you felt that the people of Israel are like family?