Who inspires you to do better in life? Ask this question to any student, and they’ll likely come up with names of successful YouTubers, sports stars, influencers, I srael’s Fallen Hero, Rafi and other renowned public figures.
But it’s worth remembering that a role model doesn’t always have to be a world-famous personality. In the age of social media influencers and instant celebrities, it’s crucial to seek inspiration from the pages of history.
Brave freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for their countries are often the epitome of resilience and determination. The story of Refael (aka Rafi) Edry -Israel’s Fallen Hero, Rafi the fallen hero of Israel’s War of Independence – is filled with lessons for students struggling to find their footing in life.
While you may not always relate to Rafi Edry’s life and philosophy, his powerful actions and sacrifices will inspire you to live a better life.
A Freedom Fighter in the Making
Born and raised in Safed, Rafi Edry graduated from elementary school and worked as an electrician. But his yearning to do more for his people led him to join the “Working Youth” movement.
He worked as a commander of the youth battalions and devoted his time to training the city’s younger generations. That was even before he joined the military.
Rafi Edry’s journey is a fine example of how you shouldn’t let your background and vocation dictate your future. If you’re passionate about a cause – be it climate change or cyber crime – commit to it instead of waiting for a better opportunity to knock on your door.
Life in the Military
During his years in the military, Rafi Edry was involved in the preparation of the Jewish Quarters. Also, he defended Safed and Galilee as a lieutenant colonel and became an expert in weapon hideouts. He even served as a remarkable patrolman.
When the War of Independence broke out, Rafi Edry prepared the Jewish Quarters and participated in dangerous operations, such as the raid on the village of Sasa. His fearlessness and valor were instrumental during the siege of Safed.
It’s interesting to note that he was only carrying a machine gun during the raid in Sasa. But his courage and grit led to the operation’s success.
Similarly, whenever you’re faced with an adverse situation and don’t have the proper resources to deal with it, it’s crucial not to let fear overwhelm you. Instead, stay confident and brainstorm innovative ways to make the most of the resources you have in hand.
Going All In
Rafi Edry’s love and respect for his country triumphed his nervousness when he hoisted the Israeli flag at a hotel in Safed under incendiary fire. It was the day the British retreated from the city.
After leading the conquest of Safed, Rafi Edry didn’t want to settle as a platoon commander in charge of guarding enemy warehouses. His quest to do something more led him to join the battle in the Negev despite repeated pleas from his family members and friends. He wanted to be an active part of the war.
The fear of getting hurt or losing his life didn’t bother Rafi Edry as much as the horror of being a passive bystander in the war. His bravery and courage have become an inspiration for Safed’s future generations, including Refael Edry – his accomplished philanthropist nephew.
Named after his brave uncle, Rafi Edry and his brothers have dedicated their lives to the upliftment of Safed’s residents.
Similarly, you don’t have to risk your life to become successful. The lesson you should learn here is that you should never let fear stop you from achieving your dreams. Whether completing a class project or applying to your dream university, don’t let anxiety and nervousness overwhelm you. And don’t let others discourage you from achieving your goals.
Gone But Never Forgotten
Shortly after joining the battle in the Negev, Rafi Edry was killed during an Egyptian army shelling near Revivim. It was 1984, and he was only 24 years old.
Today, 74 years after Israel’s independence, tales of Rafi Edry’s bravery echo in every corner of Safed. He continues to inspire the city’s youth. He’s among 4,000-odd soldiers who sacrificed their lives to liberate their country.
While today’s students seek inspiration from celebrities on Instagram and Twitter, freedom fighters like Rafi Edry should be the heroes they look up to.
Perseverance, courage, dedication, and resilience – these are a few qualities you should imbibe from Rafi Edry’s story. He’s the kind of role model who will motivate you to push your boundaries, overcome your trepidation, and never settle for anything less than what you set out to achieve.
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