At first sight, Rachel Glick felt that the Kinneret is her home. Everything changed when her son Yuval plunged into its depths together with his plane. Ehud Banai describes Rachel’s reconciliation with the Kinneret.
In memory of Yuval Glick
The clip “The Gates of Heaven” is based on the story by Rachel Shelly Glick.
Creator of the clip: Nadav Nachmani and Dror Shefetz
To forgive the Kinneret.
Rachel Glick wrote about her life with and without her son Yuval, an Air Force pilot killed in 1991
I was 36 when Yuval was born, a good age at which to give birth. I no longer had any financial problems. We lived in a house that we had built and we had achieved harmony in our relationship. Yuval was a wonderful child, with golden hair and blue eyes. He was a reserved and quiet child. He was a gift. I thought that apparently we had done something good so as to be worthy of this gift. He was an exceptional soul. An outsized soul.
When Yuval celebrated his ninth birthday, his class was on its annual field trip. Reuven, my husband, joined them as an escort and I prepared a cake and sweets. They had a great day and in the evening Yuval went to sleep happy. At midnight, Reuven said that he doesn’t feel well. I understood that something is happening and I called Magen David Adom. Reuven died a little bit after we arrived at the hospital in Ashkelon. In the morning, I had to tell my son that he no longer has a father. The girls were already living on their own. We were left alone – me, him and the huge house.
My connection with Yuval was to a great extent thanks to his special personality. Perhaps it is strange to say that your child is doing the guiding, but it says, “Educate a youth according to his way” (Proverbs, 22:10) and that is how my relationship was with him. I educated him according to his way and he educated me according to his way. When he was 16, I asked him: “You know that you are an adolescent? Something isn’t right. You need to be making problems.” He answered, “What do you want? That I should make trouble?”
Yuval Glick z"l
Yuval was killed in a training flight on Friday, May 5th, 1991. His plane plunged into Lake Kinneret. It wasn’t meant to be his flight, but rather that of his friend. They had switched. When the delegation from the Air Force arrived, I was in the kitchen, in the middle of cooking. I knew that Yuval was supposed to be arriving. My daughter Ruthie was with them and she is the one who told me. Someone from the delegation immediately approached to give me an injection. But I didn’t want an injection; I didn’t want them to touch me. This is something that you don’t immediately absorb. I don’t remember much from those first days. They were days of darkness. Several days after the end of the Shiva, I dared to go into Yuval’s room. That was the first time that I looked at the photos he took. I always gave his photos in for development, but I never looked at them. I was astounded at the beauty, the powerful landscapes, the talent. I left the pictures on the floor and left the room.
Yuval especially loved Ehud Banai. Before the first anniversary of his death, I met Banai at a café in Givatayim. I told him my story and gave him the album with the pictures that Yuval had taken at his concerts. I ask that he appear on the anniversary and he agreed.
After some time, I decided to travel to the Kinneret in order to see the place where Yuval died. Over the years, my connection with the Kinneret has been a special one. Early on in our life together, Reuven and I lived on Kibbutz Ginegar and I remember the place from which I saw the Kinneret for the first time, as a young girl. I can’t forgive the Kinneret, but I decided to deal with the issue. I got into my car and started to drive. I stopped in every possible place, at every kiosk. I tried to make my way through a curtain of tears.
Ehud Banai’s “The Third” album was playing in the car, over and over, but I wasn’t listening. And then, when I arrived at the point from where I saw the Kinneret for the first time, I heard someone sing: “What is there to say, what is there to say, I am setting here but rising somewhere else.” I rewound the tape and listed to the words again and again. And so, with these lines playing for me, I sat down on the beach at Kibbutz Deganya and the Kinneret was completely calm. Like on the day that Yuval was killed.
1st of Sivan 5739 (May 18, 1969) – 21 Iyar 5751 (May 5, 1991)
Yuval Glick knew how to dream. But more than that he was brave and he realized his dreams. His friends, his family and his commanders describe a unique individual who followed his heart. His oldest dream was to become a pilot and he fulfilled it when he became a combat pilot. “A very good pilot”, his commanders wrote in his file. “Uses his head. Takes on new things without hesitation and executes well. In his free time, he volunteered to mentor a youth from Arad. He stands out as a person, as an officer and as someone who executes, at all times.” Glick was born in 1969 in Kiryat Gat to parents who had left Kibbutz Nachsholim and were among the first arrivals in the city. His uniqueness was clear already in his childhood. He did not want to hear the regular children’s stories like “Little Red Riding Hood” and asked to hear about blood circulation, the brain, the stars and the Earth. His interests changed from time to time: hiking, rock collecting, music, science fiction and diving.
“Yuval was something unique,” says Yael Pesach, his teacher in the Rogozin School. “He was a good friend, a good student, the chairman of the Student Council already in Grade 11, a counselor in Magen David Adom, a member and counselor of the hiking and knowledge of Israel club and a hiker in his heart and in his soul. He was a kid that everyone liked.” His father died suddenly when he was nine, but he didn’t talk about that much. His room was a regular place to meet for his friends, who wrote about him in the high school yearbook: “He looks innocent and like a future pilot; he hopes to be a clever businessman; who will get the best of any situation; but overall he’s just a guy who’s pretty successful.” And indeed since he was a child, he wanted to be a pilot and, as mentioned, he realized that dream. Before joining the army, he managed to travel around the US for about six months. On May 5th, 1991, he fell while on active duty in the North of Israel. He was buried in the military cemetery in Kiryat Gat. He left behind a mother and two sisters – Ruthie and Roni. He was posthumously promoted to the rank of captain and also received a commendation for his service in the professional army. In his eulogy, his commander said: “”Yesterday we met you, Yuval, smiling as usual and ready to take more tasks onto your broad shoulders. Yuval, especially you, the role model in the gang, in every gang – in class, in the squadron, in the air group. You were a figure that all of us—whether long-time soldiers or fresh recruits—tried to emulate. You of all people were taken from us just before your 22nd spring.”
Over the years, Yuval took numerous photographs. He had an eye that was sensitive to people and stunning landscapes. His mother and the Ministry of Defense published a book in his name, “To Every Man”, which contains 136 photographs that he left behind.
Dror Shefetz and Nadav Nachmani describe the clip they created in memory of Yuval Glick
The story by Rachel, Yuval’s mother, raised a lot of questions for us with respect to the weight that those close to us have in our world, with respect to the fragility of life and with respect to the way in which we can provide life with a new meaning. We chose to work with a language of contrasts and to create several worlds: a colorful world full of life, which describes the years before his death, as opposed to the colorless world using a trembling line, that describes Rachel’s experience of loss. Only when she finds Yuval’s photos in his room does she manage to hold onto something concrete that is connected to her son and that leads her on a journey of reconciliation, at the end of which she manages to restore the color to her life.
This is the first time that we are creating a clip based on a real story. This is a completely different process, since it requires asking whether you are doing justice to the story and respecting the people on which you are basing the clip. Unlike clips that are not based on reality, in this case we set out on a process of creation from a clear starting point. That can make the process easier on the one hand since it has a foundation but on the other hand it can be limiting. We feel that we have managed to base ourselves on the existing source and at the same time to bring something of ourselves to the clip.
We had the pleasure and the privilege of choosing Ehud Banai’s song and to work with it as a guiding element of the clip. The song, “Until the Next Time”, enabled us to create while relating to the rhythm, and Banai’s voice fulfilled an important role by helping us to tell Rachel’s story. We hope that the clip will be seen by as many people as possible, that it will move them and cause them to think about the meaning of Memorial Day in the more personal sense and to identify with people such as Rachel who have lost their loved ones.