My Kids in the IDF , and Thoughts on the War

My feelings about the last three weeks are tied in to my feelings about my kids having made Aliyah on their own and with their intention of joining the IDF, so a little background is in order.

We raised our kids to be Zionists and love Judaism. From in the womb I spoke to them (!) in Ivrit, sang Hebrew songs, played Hebrew music; I had such a love of Judaism and Hebrew, having been raised similarly, that I wanted to impart to my kids the same understanding, feeling and pride in their history, religion and heritage, and in leshon hakodesh.

My husband and I years ago, with two children, had made aliyah, but after four years returned to the States. Never did I think that my kids would leave on their own for a brand-new life in a strange (but somehow, also familiar) land.

But leave they did, one after the other: in 2003, our two sons left with basically 'the shirts on their backs' (no help from Nefesh b'Nefesh) and a slight connection with their uncle, knowing no one else in Israel. My older son was 26 years old at the time. His younger brother was19.

They joined the army and had very different experiences, although both were considered 'commander quality.' They are now both finished with active duty, but were not called up for the Gaza war (my younger son just became a father, so I'm very glad he was not called). However, they are reservists and could be called up at any time. I worry. And I pray.

All in all, I was very proud of them, and missed them terribly: they were chayalim bodedim, or "lone soldiers," whose parents are not in the country. That was in 2003.

In 2004 our youngest daughter was the next to leave, at age fifteen! We accidentally (nothing is 'accidental,' right?) found out about a program called "Na'aleh," or 'Elite Academy' as it was dubbed for Americans. This program was to encourage kids of 15 to continue their high school in Israel, after having completed 1 year of high school in the States.

Next, in 2005, my middle daughter (Toodles) left as well--for year course at Hebrew University, and then continued on at the IDC in Herzliyah, where she is currently finishing up her last year at the college.

Fast forward to the present for my youngest daughter: after having completed three years of and graduated high school in Israel, she chose, tried out for and was accepted to be in an elite unit in Combat Engineering. Sherut le'umi (national service for religious girls) was not for her. She is currently in Commander's Course and she might go to Officer's Training. I am very proud of her, but I worry (I found out later that she was in Gaza for a week; it would have been two, but she became sick and was sent home) I pray a lot.

The war was not our choice, but a necessity, because we (Israel. I still speak as if I am there...) are surrounded by enemies who constantly provoke us. We have no choice but to defend ourselves and stop their aggression. We are the victim, not the perpetrator!

In this light, my daughter loves what she is doing, and doesn't entertain any questions I may have about her choice of how to serve her country.

In summation, I am very, very proud of their self-sacrifice and service to our Jewish homeland. And I miss them terribly. . .

It is high-time that the world understood that Israel is the only country in the Middle East which really wants peace, and which does not want to send its young men and women to war. It is twisted that the world blames Israel for every thing under the sun in that region--so-called Arab refugees, "settlers" 'undermining the peace process,' 'genocide' in Gaza, etc.--all of which the Arabs are really responsible for.

May G-d protect Israel, all the soldiers, and all of Am Yisrael.

It is high-time that GOOD and TRUTH prevailed over evil.


Leora said…
What a mom you must be, to have kids like yours. They sound like they know what they want, what they believe in, and they go for it.
the sabra said…
I second that, l'gamrei.
Lady-Light said…
Leora: I am amazed and proud that my kids set their sights on their goals, and went forth to achieve them. Their mother wasn't quite like that...
Sabra: Welcome back! Long time no read a comment from you (chaval al ha-zman can mean different things in different contexts...)

Yes, we (you, Leora, me, etc.) are all preaching to the converted. How we get the other guy to hear, I have no clue. But I keep hoping.
the sabra said…
Well, it's possible the other guy is readin even if he's not commentin.
Also, even the converts need inspiration--fire us up, yknow!

It's good to BE back, ladylight!
You so ditched me...
Lady-Light said…
Sabra: True, I am not tracking readers so much, just commenters. And right-O again, we all need a "chizuk" once in a while; and with what's going on in the world today, more often than not.
But you're wrong on this one: I didn't ditch you!
("So many blogs, so little time. . . !")
the sabra said…
So I answered you there but hey, comments are free :)

I have a new blogger friend--d'you know Ruti Mizrachi?
Lady-Light said…
Sabra: So YOU ditched me for HER?! (we're friends on Facebook.)
the sabra said…

Bichlal lo. Just stam sharin friendly info (pun intended).

And hey! I don't think even I (big n bold) am friends with her on Facebook!
Norma said…
What a beautiful family! Thank you for sharing.

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