Childhood Memory“Are you going to work today?” I asked my dad. “Not today. I among going to the army for reserve duty. I’ll be back on Thursday.” Yitzhak (Izzie) Nathanson did not come back. His last conversation with his three-year-old son was made into a memorial clip as part of the memorial project A Face.The Day.A Memory.
In Memory of Yitzhak Natanson
Yitzhak Nathanson z"l
This story was first published as part of the Longings project of the IDF Widows and Orphans organization.
The clip “Childhood Memory” focuses on one moment in 1980 in which Yaron Nathanson says goodbye to his father Yitzhak (Izzie) who left for reserve duty and didn’t come back. This was the last time they saw each other.
The creators of the clip: students in the Animation Department at the Nagar Musrara School in Jerusalem. Nachman Lehrer and Einav Weisman – animation; Yaakov Tolstoy – narration; Amir Boltzman – sound.
Sunday, June 7th 1980 in the living room at home:
Father: Good morning Yaron.
Yaron: Good morning. What are you doing?
Father: I am putting on my uniform. These are the clothes that I go to the army with.
Yaron: What is the army? Are you going to work today?
Father: Not today. I am going to the army, to do reserve duty. In the army, there are people who protect the country;
they protect us so there won’t be any wars. Today, I am leaving to do a week of reserve duty. I will return on Thursday.
Yaron (hysterically): I want to come with you!!!
Father: No, you can’t…
Yaron: Why not?
Father: Because the army is for big people. When you get to the age of 18 you will be big and you will also go to the army.
Yaron: Here, now I’m big! I’m coming with you!
Father: No, Yaroni. It’s impossible. But why don’t you help me by bringing me by boots.
Yaron: Here, now can I go with you?
Father: No Yaron. I told you that it’s only for big people.
Yaron: I don’t want you to go!
Father: Don’t worry. I will come back on Thursday and on Shabbat we will go for a hike.
Yaron: I don’t want a hike! I want to be with you!
Mother: Itzik, take him to kindergarten; maybe he will calm down on the way.
Entrance to the kindergarten. Yaron sobbing.
Father: Yaron, look at me. I am going now and we will be together very soon. Go to kindergarten and play with your friends.
Yaron hangs on to his father and sobs.
Yaron: I don’t want to!
Father: Enough, Yaron. I need to go. Give me a kiss. A big hug. Daddy is going.
Daddy looks back and smiles.
Yitzhak (Izzie) Nathanson - 19 Tevet 5714 (December 25, 1953) – 26 Sivan 5740 (June 9, 1980)
Yitzhak (Izzie) Nathanson was born in the city of Iaşi in Romania. He made aliyah at the age of 11 and settled with his family in Ramat Hasharon. He attended the Rothenberg Vocational High School. In 1971, he joined the army and served in the Golani commando unit, in which he fought during the Yom Kippur War. His commanders describe his service as “without blemish”. After his release from the army, he began working as a metal worker in Israel Military Industries. In 1976, he married Odette and they had two children. As part of his service in the reserves, he took a course to become a half-track driver. On June 9th, 1980, he left for reserve duty, where he died in a training accident.
Nathanson left behind a wife and two sons, parents and three sisters.
The idea for the clip “Childhood Memory” was Yaron’s, the older son. He was three years old when his father died. In a condolence letter to the family, his commander wrote: “Yitzhak served in our unit for three years. During that time, he showed himself to be a friend, someone who was willing to help out and to assist a friend in need. Yitzhak was always in a good mood and had high morale. His memory will remain with us as a person who was willing to help his fellow man, someone with a cheerful personality who creates a positive and pleasant atmosphere” (written on the basis of an interview with his family and his memorial page in the Yizkor project).
Nachman Lehrer and Einav Weisman from the Mussrara School comment on the clip “Childhood Memory”, which they produced in memory of Yitzhak (Izzie) Nathanson:
The clip “Childhood Memory” focuses on one moment in June 1980 when Yaron Nathanson said goodbye to this father Yitzhak (Izzie), who left for reserve duty and didn’t come back. That was the last time that father and son saw each other.
Years later, details from our memories fade and disappear. How did the house look? How did the way to kindergarten look? On the other hand, the figure of the father and the feeling of loss remain engraved in the memory forever. The animation in the clip is based on flickering lines and solids, which are meant to express this complicated feeling.
During our studies, we try to create animations that express our personal experiences. We were pleased for the opportunity to tell the story of Yaron through animation, our medium, and to provide a different angle, thus connecting additional people to the story. When we were preparing the clip, we wanted the viewer to share in the son’s longing for his father, who had to leave his family in order to fulfil his duty to defend his people. Memorial Day is devoted to these people; to those who have fallen and to those who remain behind and long for them.
Yaron Nathanson, son of Yitzhak Nathanson z”l, describes his final parting with his father on the morning when he left for reserve duty.