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Shmuel Yair Landau

Shmuel Yair Landau

Yair was born in Baltimore, MD (US) on 5719 (1959). Three years later his family moved to Silver Spring, MD, near the nation's capital, where they remained for 7 years. There Yair started his formal Jewish education at the Hebrew Academy of Greater Washington and grew up as part of the Jewish community. His family was a member of the neighboring Shomrei Emunah Congregation. In 5729 (1969) the Landau family made aliyah. After 10 months of living in the Beit Giora absorption center, the family moved to the Beit HaKerem neighborhood in Jerusalem. Yair went to elementary school in Bayit Vegan at the Neve Etzion School, and started high school at the Himmelfarb School. After two years he transferred to the "Ohr Etzion" Yeshiva High School at Mercaz Shapiro where he completed his studies.

In 5737 (1976) Yair moved to Yeshivat Hakotel where he joined the hesder program combining Torah studies and army service as a tank driver with the artillery unit. After much deliberation Yair found his life calling- the integration of active Zionism and Judaism. He felt that the best way to fulfill this was to pass it on to other youth, especially those from the Diaspora. Thus, it was Yair who was always taking care of the students from overseas who were studying at the Yeshiva. Thanks to his proficiency in English he was able to learn with them and form relationships with them as well. He became a youth leader in several movements, including a group of Israelis from various backgrounds, and served as a madrich in Shabbat and summer programs for the Jewish Agency through Kiryat Moriah, which hosts groups of students from overseas for seminars. He also led groups through the Israel Center of the UOJCA. In 5741 (1981) Yair started to study in the Shwadron Teachers College, and he considered training for a life involved in youth leadership and teaching Judaic studies. One week before he completed his army service, when the Peace for Galilee war broke out, Yair was called to his unit.

On the 20th of Sivan, 5742 (1982), 2 days after his 23rd birthday, Yair fell in eastern Lebanon during a fierce battle with the Syrians.

May his memory be blessed