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02. Courage & Bravery

Team Elhanan

This story of two brothers who saved nearly a hundred people personifies the larger story of what was happening on October 7th. The video is in Hebrew without English subtitles, but feel free to watch parts of it even if you don’t understand Hebrew. The paragraph below will sum up the story.

סיפור זה מתמצת את מה שקרה בשביעי לאוטקובר. מנחם מספר כאן על אח שלו, שאמר לו שצריך להיכנס לרכב ולנסוע לכיוון העוטף כדי למצוא איך לעזור. במסע המדהים שלהם, הם הגיעו לקיבוץ בארי והצילו כמעט מאה אנשים. הכתבה ארוכה אך מציגה סיפור גבורה מעורר השראה. סיפורים כאלו גם עוזרים לנו להתחבר לחג החנוכה מחדש. השירים שמספרים על קרבות המכבים פתאום נשמעים קרובים יותר, כאשר גם אנחנו היום נאלצים להילחם על הזכות לקיים את חיינו על אדמת ארץ ישראל.

Menahem Kalmanson describes how on the morning of October 7th, his older brother said that he must drive down to the area of the attack to try and help. Despite it being a leap into the unknown, Menahem joined his brother Elhanan and they drove down. He describes the disbelief and fear as they rode through what felt like a disaster film. They saw an abandoned armored vehicle and they used it to go through Kibbutz Be’eri, finding people who could be rescued and driving them to a safe place, and then going straight back in to save others. They saved close to one hundred people, and from minute 30 in the video you can witness the beautiful and emotional first reunion he has in the TV studio, meeting some of the people he saved. On that terrible day, after 14 hours of heroic action, Menahem’s brother, Elhanan, was shot and did not recover from his wounds. This improvised but remarkable rescue mission is in his name – Team Elhanan.

This story also creates a direct connection to what must have been happening as the Maccabees were fighting their battles. Such things used to feel far away, even ancient – yet now people of our own generation are experiencing first hand what it means to fight for what we believe in, for our right to exist. The traditional songs we sing, the words we have said so many times, gain new meaning.

Note: This video includes descriptions of violence, as well as non-explicit video footage from the attack on October 7th.

They weren’t soldiers. They weren’t on guard duty or anything. They just drafted themselves.



What other stories of bravery have you heard about during these recent events?

איזה סיפורי גבורה נוספים שמעתם עליהם במהלך המלחמה?

Where have you seen bravery in small, quiet actions?

האם ראית גבורה שקטה, ברגעים קטנים יותר? איפה זה היה?

Can we practice courage? In what way can we prepare ourselves for a situation in which we are called upon to be brave?

האם ניתן להכשיר את עצמינו להיות בעלי אומץ? איך ניתן להכין את עצמנו לרגע בו אנו נדרשים לגבורה?

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