The grandson of a former Bangor High School teacher and State Senator was killed in the Hamas attacks on Israel.

Who is the Soldier?

Aryeh Shlomo Ziering, 27, was a Captain in the IDF, who worked with dogs. One man among hundreds killed when Hamas militants issued a surprise attack on Israel as residents were wrapping up their seven-day Jewish festival of Sukkot. But his death has touched us here in Maine even more significantly because he has family in the Pine Tree State.

What is His Connection to Maine?

Howard Trotsky is Aryeh's grandfather, a man well-known to the Maine community. Trotsky was a longtime teacher at Bangor High School and also served as a State Senator in the 1970's and 80's. The Portland Press Herald reports the death toll has risen to more than 1,500 people, on both sides of the fight, with thousands injured. These statistics are often tough to imagine, until you think of hundreds of families, just like the Trotsky's, who are mourning the loss of a loved one.

Is a Vigil Planned?

Needless to say, the Jewish community in Maine is reeling after the Hamas attacks. Congregation Beth Israel of Bangor, Trotsky's temple, is offering support and solace to its members, including informing them of a candlelight vigil on Wednesday with the University of Maine Hillel on the campus in Orono. Attendees to the 5 pm vigil in the University's MLK Plaza are encouraged to wear blue and white, the colors of the Israeli flag. The evening will include prayers and poems, along with yahrzeit candles.

Our hearts go out to the Trotsky family and all of Aryeh's family, friends, loved ones, and comrades for their loss. May he rest in peace.

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