Oren (Orenstein), Itamar

Oren (Orenstein), Itamar

Itamar, son of Rivka and Yeshayahu, was born on the 12th of Tishrei 5713 (October 12, 1952) in Hadera, as a member of an old Jerusalem family. Itamar was the eighth generation in Israel, grandson of Rabbi Yitzchak Avigdor Orenstein, rabbi of the Jewish community in Old Jerusalem during the War of Independence. He studied at the “Arlozorov” elementary school in Hadera, continued to study at the Neurim Institute, and later completed his studies at Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh. Itamar was a multi-faceted young man active in various fields. He was a member of the Hashomer Hatza’ir movement, was interested in technical matters, and reached out for writing – mainly writing poems. In one of his poems, he wrote: “The most perfect thing is the man / the most perfect thing in man is his soul / the most perfect thing in his soul is love / the most perfect thing in love is sacrifice.” Itamar had “gold hands.” He knew how to fix any instrument, and was able to assemble radios, even though he had never studied electronics and fine mechanics. From his childhood, he had a strong personality, and his personality was also evident in his adulthood. He was stubborn and strong-willed, and nothing stopped him from doing what he wanted to do. He was a true friend, cheerful and cordial. Because he learned to operate heavy bulldozers in the kibbutz, he went down to the Suez Canal area before enlisting to do dirt work and earn money, so that he would not become a burden on his parents during his army service. He spent several months there and worked under heavy fire with shelling and sniping.
Itamar was drafted into the IDF in early November 1970. He volunteered to serve in the naval commando and there, after basic training, he completed a paratroop course and a squadron commander course. A year later, he moved to the “Barak” battalion in the Golani Brigade, where he was appointed a platoon sergeant and excelled in this role. He did during the difficult days in the Gaza Strip and took part in raids across the Lebanese border. “In one of the training series, Itamar was hit hard in the back and one of his vertebrae was cracked, after spending many days in the hospital, he was released from the army before his time. For his service, he was awarded the “Operational Service Award”. When the Yom Kippur War broke out, Itamar rushed to his battalion, the Barak Battalion in the Golan Heights. The new company commander, whom he did not know, refused to accept him, but Itamar did not give in. When the matter was brought to the attention of the battalion commander, he ordered that he be attached to the unit. In the battle, on October 13, 1973, Itamar was killed while standing in the half-track with the machine gun in his hand. He was brought to eternal rest in the Mount Herzl cemetery in Jerusalem. Survived by his father, mother and two brothers. After his fall, he was promoted to First Sergeant. His commanding officer said: “Itamar was distinguished by two qualities – the most kind and the most courageous of his kind, and he performed his duties under fire in the best possible way, and was loved by his subordinates and commanders in the company.”

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