Needy treated to feast in memory of fallen soldier

Friends of IDF officer Benya Sarel arrange a charity banquet on the day his wedding was supposed to be held

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

IDF Major Benaya Sarel, 26, who was killed during an August 1 2014 firefight in Gaza Strip. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson/FLASH90)
IDF Major Benaya Sarel, 26, who was killed during an August 1 2014 firefight in Gaza Strip. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson/FLASH90)

Friends of an IDF officer killed during the recent fighting in the Gaza Strip arranged a banquet for the needy in his memory on Thursday, the same day that the soldier was supposed to be married.

Maj. Benaya Sarel, 26, was an officer in the Givati Brigade who was killed in a firefight in southern Gaza on August 1 after his unit was ambushed by Hamas gunmen during what was supposed to be a temporary ceasefire.

Sarel, who was from Kiryat Arba, was engaged to be married and his wedding had been scheduled for Thursday evening.

Following his death, Sarel’s friends contacted Carmei Ha’Ir, a non-profit organization that helps those unable to provide for themselves, and offered to donate all the gifts that they were going to give to the couple to the organization instead, the Kikar Hashabat news website reported.

In addition, the group arranged to have a “wedding feast” for needy people at the headquarters of the Jerusalem-based organization that provides a daily free dinner for those who are unable to feed themselves.

The tables in the dining room were laid out with a festive spread and a poster explained that the meal was in honor of a fallen IDF soldier in place of his wedding banquet.

However, the poster did not mention Sarel by name as the organizers wanted to avoid media attention during the event.

“On a day that joy turned to sorrow. The sound of cheering turned to grief,” the poster read. “In this act of kindness find comfort.”

On its website, Carmei Ha’Ir describes itself as helping those who are struggling during difficult economic times, until each can “stand on his/her own two feet and not need the charity of others.”

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