Thousands of weeping Israelis of all ages accompanied Lieutenant Tamar Ariel to her final resting place in Israel’s Moshav Masuot Yitzhak, where her mother, Anat Tuchman Ariel, and her father, Hanan Ariel, met while her mother was on Hadassah’s Young Judaea Year Course. Some knew Tamar from the family’s Hadassah/Young Judaea connections; others were family and friends. Still others came to pay their last respects to the first religious woman to complete the Air Force’s tough pilots’ course and thereby make history.
After surviving a plane crash and fighting this summer for the safety of her people, she died in a freak blizzard on the Annapurna mountain top in Northern Nepal. Hadassah Office in Israel Deputy Director Barbara Goldstein represented Hadassah supporters around the world at the funeral. “The tragedy,” she said, “is too great to absorb. Tamar was an extraordinary young woman who was among us for too short a time. This is hard for all of us, but for the community from Hadassah Puerto Rico of which the Tuchman family is a pillar, the pain is beyond expression. Her memory will surely be for a blessing and, as the Sephardic Jews say, ‘From the heavens, may you be comforted.’ “