Memorial Day 2015: Raviv Brimmer
© 2015, Gadi Bossin
P.O. Box 20
Kiryat Bialik, Israel
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MEMORIAL DAY 2015: RAVIV BRIMMER
April 22, 2015
Memorial Day in Israel
As part of a nationwide campaign of lighting virtual candles in memory of the fallen, yesterday evening I lit a candle remembering Raviv Brimmer. I posted it on Facebook.
During the 1972-73 school year, Raviv was a pupil of mine when I taught English in the elementary and junior high school grades at Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar. He was a seventh grader.
Raviv stood out as a very special pupil: bright, industrious, a team player and, most of all, as a caring individual who was value-centered and extraordinarily considerate of others.
The memorial page dedicated to Raviv says the following:
רב סרן רביב ברימר
בן חנה ואלישע
נפל ביום כ”ז בטבת תשמ”ו
בית העלמין אילת השחר
בן 26 בנופלו
הנצחה באתר יזכור
Major Raviv Brimmer
Son of Hannah and Elisha Brimmer
Fell on the 8th of January 1986
Buried at the Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar Cemetery
Israel Air Force
26 years of age
Here is my Facebook comment:
Proof that the good die young. A fine, fine human being, as a young boy, as a young man. I was his teacher at Kibbutz Ayelet Hashachar in 1972-73, but Raviv taught me and I never forgot how he stood up for and defended a fellow pupil, a “yeled chutz,” a boy who was not popular among the other boys and girls at all.
He had the courage to stand alone against all the others and to do his best to make the unpopular boy feel at home after all.
May his memory be for a blessing.
Raviv, a pilot in the IAF, fell in the line of duty in August 1986.
He was 26.
Since I posted these words, I’ve been trying to remember more. What was the name of the ילד חוץ? And I remembered. It was Rafi.
And then I remembered Rafi’s sad face and his long hair, bangs and all, framing that face. And Raviv, freckle-faced and unwilling to accept the behavior of his classmates toward Rafi, earnestly doing his best to ward off the derision the other pupils were showering on Rafi, “the boy who didn’t belong.”
Rafi, not a member of a kibbutz family.
Rafi, a Sephardic Jew from a broken family.
Rafi, from the city. Or was it from a development town? No matter.
Of all the seventh graders, Raviv was the only one who defended the friendless outsider Rafi.
How do I describe the admiration I felt for the boy Raviv was?
Well, in four decades of teaching I taught thousands of pupils, young and old, but I never forgot Raviv.
I even named the son of my fictional alter ego in my novel Annie’s Prophecy after him.
I have no idea what happened to Rafi.
But I am sure if he, unlike Raviv, is still alive—he would be in his mid-fifties these days—he will be thinking of Raviv this Memorial Day, just as I am thinking about him.
It was a privilege to know Raviv.
יהי זכרו ברוך.