Words Spoken by Rachel Galili at Yohai's Funeral
July 23, 2002
Yohai
We the students of your graduating class and your teachers have come here today to be with you, to depart from you, Yohai, the person, the unique young man.
You were different, a young man of exceptional caliber, with a pure soul, very sensitive and special. I remember your shining smile, your innocent face, inquiring eyes--all of which indicated a good-hearted person.
You were modest, sincere, a bright student, brilliant, a mathematical genius. How proud I was to present you with a prize for outstanding scholastic achievement and of course, excellence in English.
You were different--an individualist.
I learned to know you and to love you.
You spent hours in my room playing chess with Ofer and David. You were an excellent chess player. A worthy opponent. Sometimes you concentrated so much on your game that you didn't hear the bell and I had to make you stop and go to class, not before promising you that you could come back to my room and finish the game. Once in a while, I found out that you removed the board to another room and finished the game and didn't go to class.
We talked for hours about the world, current events, studies and the future. Those were hours when you revealed yourself and allowed me to get closer to you and know you better.
I was privileged.
The unfortunate news sent me back to the yearbook where your classmates wrote this about you:

Yohai Levanon--the best there is.
His peals of laughter infected all the class.
And for every tough question, he had an answer.
Matriculation for him was just a piece of cake.
Because he could think up complex theories so easily.

You left us, Yohai, with difficult questions without answers. What is most important to teach you, the youth, for your adulthood? To what extent are we, as a society and as individuals, willing to make a place for others who are different and to what extent do we know how to do it? How do we identify and strengthen your abilities to cope with life?
Yohai--I'm shocked, I'm hurt, I'm sad. . .so sad.

Rachel Galili, Reali School

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