Last night I had the honor and privilege of attending my friend Susan's son's Hashba'ah--swearing in ceremony--into the army. Susan is an old friend from high school who lives in the states. Her young son made Aliyah about a year ago and has been attending university while awaiting his draft into the army.
I can only imagine what Susan felt as his mother.
At the ceremony, the young soldiers were given both their gun and a Tanach (bible). Their commander told them, "Take this gun with you to protect and defend yourself in battle, but know that you have the Tanach, which tells the story of how our people were given this land and how G-d is with you all the time". He quoted Joshua (1:9) הלוא צויתיך חזק ואמץ אל תערץ ואל תחת כי עמך השם אלקיך בכל אשר תלך
In truth I commanded you, Strengthen yourself and persevere. Do not fear and do not lose resolve because G-d is with you wherever you may go.
When I looked at this soldier, young, fit, handsome, proud, I was so moved. Though his parents raised him to love Israel as the homeland of the his people, I don't think it was their idea for him to serve in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). That was of his own initiation and volition. Here is a young man who loves his country and his people so fiercely that he swore three times to protect it and defend its freedom from any enemy that threatens it. And we know our enemies are many.
Susan, I will pray every day for your son's safety and for all of our sons and daughters who place themselves in danger's way. May G-d watch over them until the day comes that we no longer have to send them off to battle because there will finally be peace and freedom throughout our homeland.
The Stuff That Lasts, Part Deux
2 weeks ago