Michael Levin, (z”l) was the first Paratrooper and the only American to die in the 2006 Second Lebanon War.
Born and raised near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Michael grew up in a traditional, loving Jewish household. He was active in HaGesher Region USY and attending Camp Ramah in the Poconos. In February of 2001, Michael went to Israel for two months and attended the Alexander Muss High School program. After graduating high school, Michael attended the NATIV USY yearlong program in Israel. In his AMHS yearbook he wrote:
At the young age of 16, Michael had decided that he wanted to move to Israel and join a front- line combat unit in the Israeli Defense Forces. He followed his dream three years later, and immigrated to Israel, joining the elite paratroop unit #890 shortly thereafter. Within the year he quickly rose to the rank of First Sergeant, with hopes of becoming a career officer.
In the summer of 2006, Michael had received permission to travel to the United States to visit his family. When he heard about the outbreak of the war, he decided to end his trip and return to Israel to help his unit. He went straight to his commanders and demanded to be sent up north to defend Israel against Hezbollah. Seven days later he was killed by a sniper in the southern Lebanese village of Aita al-Shaab.
On Tisha B'Av, Michael Levin was laid to rest at Mount Herzl Cemetery. His family – mother Harriet, father Mark, Sister Elisa and his twin sister, Dara and Uncle Rob -- flew in from Holland, Pennsylvania. They were joined by thousands of people from all over Israel who came to pay tribute to his memory and heroism.
Michael Levin was the personification of the word ‘hero”. He made the ultimate sacrifice for the Jewish State and the Jewish people.
May his memory continue to be a blessing to all of Israel.