Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
Shmulik’s commanding officer pretty much defines the concept of a “man’s man” – at least as I would think of him. He’s the quintessential definition of an Israeli officer in war, in life, and in command. He’s been in the army since he first entered as a paratrooper somewhere back in his late teens.
He’s steadily climbed through the ranks, moving up very fast because he is charismatic, intelligent, young, handsome and dedicated. Shmulik met him just before he became a Major, now he’s a Lieutenant Colonel and I have no doubt the only limitation on where he will go is within him. Shmulik is convinced he could become Chief of Staff someday. He’s certainly capable, I think.
I heard him speak to a huge gathering of soldiers and parents. He’s a hero of sorts, a man of action. He epitomizes the Israeli commander who will command his troops with the traditional, “follow me” order. He was badly wounded by terrorist fire and when the doctors said he may never walk again, he prove them wrong. He walks – and he runs. Faster than Shmulik, longer distances. He guards what he eats (but he likes my chocolate chip cookies).
He’s a realist and he knows how to play the crowds. When we went up to the base for an introduction to what our sons would be doing in the next few months, S. was head of the base and did the talking. He introduced the weapons our sons would learn to fire, narrated the exercises the soldiers would learn to identify, quarantine, and eliminate terrorists. He walked us through an ambush of a terrorist hideout and explained that the soldiers there up on the hill were one session ahead of our sons. In four months, he told us, your sons will be up there doing this for other parents, “only you’re not invited,” he said with a laugh.
At one point, shooting the various weapons at a target in the distance started a brush fire. No problem, S. explained as a bunch of soldiers went out with what appeared to be poles or brooms, to fight it. This was the desert and there wasn’t really much to burn except brush so there was no urgency. People turned to watch the fire. I could hardly believe what I was seeing – they didn’t bring out fire engines and pour water – they beat the fire down. In a country always short of water, it was a fascinating display and we were glued to the progression of the fire, burning in almost a perfect circle because of the lack of wind.
S. wanted our attention for the program to continue. Like most of the audience, I watched the fire. And then, I turned to him and watched him watching the crowd. I videotaped (and later gave it to him) the part where he called out, “hello? To me…to me. It’s just a fire. Don’t worry…okay,” he said as the realist in him came through (and the humor), “ok, watch the fire for a few minutes and then we’ll continue.”
I thought it so funny at the time. The humor, the acceptance. I didn’t know then what a wonderful role he would play in Shmulik’s life a few months later.
S. waited a few more minutes while the soldiers did their work and got the fire mostly under control and then he began again. He isn’t ashamed of his emotions – another thing he taught Shmulik. Shmulik saw his fury when they went to the site of a horrible terrorist attack in which two parents were murdered, leaving orphans behind. The rage burned inside him and yet he controlled his anger as he ordered troops into action and monitored the situation.
Shmulik learned about humor when S. told him to use the fast lane meant for cars with many passengers, “and me,” S. told him. And he learned about humor when S. laughed endlessly because Shmulik had made some cute CDs for S.’s daughters, never noticing that they were in English with Hebrew subtitles. When he asked Shmulik about the English, Shmulik answered that there were subtitles, which made S. laugh even harder. S.’s daughters couldn’t read Hebrew; couldn’t understand the English that was so natural to Shmulik.
About the Author:The author's opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Surprisingly, many Hareidi communities do not advocate full time Kollel study for life as the ideal.
“You’ve been out on enough dates, are you going to marry him?” Many times I’ve choked at this point.
What is left to say when a 16 year-old is dead? How will her mother and family endure without her?
What is the impact of renouncing US citizenship if you live abroad? Can you visit the US again?
Gentile friends of Israel came from all over Norway & Europe and they sang “Hatikva” in Norwegian!
As the incitement begins again against the settlers, the religious and the Right, let’s review the list of children killed by terrorists.
Reports of a dead baby, a devastated family, and indications of a gloating attacker.
In all the years (and this week it’s exactly 14 years) since our daughter was murdered, we have not found a single Arabic-language post, article, tweet or speech condemning that attack in the center of Jerusalem or the killings.
Everyone is angry at the ongoing Arab terrorism, but what does murdering a baby have to do with protecting Jewish lives or furthering Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel?
Tonight, live Meerkat interactive video tour and talk in Jerusalem.
The US doesn’t want Pollard & he doesn’t want America- release him with 1 condition: No return to US
Meet Republican US presidential candidate Kerry Bowers & listen to his message to the Israeli public
Amongst the Palestinians (sic) what is promoted and praised for its young people? Terror & martyrdom
“If you can’t negotiate with your enemy, why negotiate at all?” Great sound bite. The press loved it
The Egyptians have never proven themselves to be particularly open or honest in their dealings with Israel. At least four wars have been fought between our countries. Peace is a fragile thing that must be nurtured. It must be built on honest dealings and trust. Moving tanks and anti-aircraft missiles violates not only the agreement, but the trust as well.
We would have three minutes if an attack came from Lebanon. Three minutes to get to shelter – and worry about where everyone else is and if they got to shelter in time. That’s if the missiles come from Lebanon. I don’t know how much time we’d have if the attack came from Syria or Iran…more, less, who knows.
Can you understand the concept that a young mother was happy that her son now had a gas mask? When you can, you’ll understand what it is to be Israeli – at least in part.
I wonder if anyone in the Olympics has thought of the reality that people in Israel’s south live with every day.
There is one great truth that all Israelis know; that all Jews have accepted. Today’s modern Jew, at least in Israel, is different than the Jew of yesteryear.
I read an article today. My emotions went up and down as I read it, ending with the thought that the man in the story was about to embark on a journey of a thousand steps and that somewhere along that journey, his grandparents would smile.
Yesterday, Gaza supporters began tweeting that Israeli helicopters were randomly firing… I saw the video. It does not look random to me.
According to the Israeli government, the quick actions last night of Israel’s soldiers prevented a greater tragedy from happening. According to those who support the Palestinians cause…well, they’re stuck. They have to lie because they can’t possibly work with the truth. So, here’s how it goes, according to the twisted logic of the other side.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/a-soldiers-mother/a-mans-man/2012/07/09/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: