web analytics
July 7, 2015 / 20 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Tears and Pride as a Grandson Joins the IDF

Quoting from the Vehi She’amdah we recite at the Seder, the officer reminded us that in every generation enemies have tried annihilate us. Pharaoh tried, the Romans tried, the Crusaders tried, the Nazis tried and nearly succeeded – but Hashem saved us every time. By defending Israel, the soldiers are agents of the Almighty.
Tank unit's induction ceremony at Latrun base, Feb. 19, 2013

Tank unit's induction ceremony at Latrun base, Feb. 19, 2013
Photo Credit: JewishAgency.Org

It was my first time and it was very emotional. Last week I attended the swearing-in ceremony of my grandson Eyal Schwartz into the Israel Defense Forces.

Eyal is a Hesder soldier, having spent the past year and a half learning in Otniel, a yeshiva in the South Hebron hills. Six weeks ago it was time for these young men to start the army portion of their service. With basic training over they were now to be formally inducted into the IDF.

Because Eyal will serve in the Tanks division, the ceremony took place in Latrun, known for its Armored Corps Museum.

The night before the ceremony, Israel was hit by a major thunderstorm with torrential rains, a rarity for May. The skies still looked ominous as I arrived for the special event, which was to be held outdoors. I found a seat in the huge amphitheater together with members of our family and the families of the other soldiers.

Eyal came over to say hello, tall and handsome in his green army uniform, and the sun suddenly burst forth above the clouds. This was not the first time I was seeing Eyal in his uniform, and my mind took me back a few days to Yom HaZikaron, Israel’s Memorial Day for its fallen soldiers. As I did last year, I once again joined my son Dovid and his children on their yearly pilgrimage to Mt. Herzl, Israel’s military cemetery. This time Eyal came along with us.

I was familiar with the route Dovid takes at the cemetery. The first stop is always the grave of Shlomo Aumann, his beloved 8th grade teacher who was killed in the First Lebanon War. We spend considerable time there as Dovid talks to his children and anyone within earshot about his teacher. Then it is on to his classmate Gadi Shemesh and his wife, who were killed in a terrorist attack. Afterward we went to Roi Klein, who fell on a grenade and thereby saved his unit in the Second Lebanon War. Michael Levin, a lone soldier from Philadelphia, was also killed in that war and since his family lives in the U.S., Dovid always stops there.

The list continued, and at each stop my granddaughter Elisheva played her violin with appropriate songs as people from all over came closer and sang along. I watched Eyal, my soldier grandson, as he read each stone, rows and rows of stones, and noted the ages of the fallen: 18, 19, 20…

When it was time for the ceremony to begin, Eyal left us to join his unit. In they marched, all 475 of them, so young, but already men. An officer addressed the assemblage. He told the soldiers they would soon be receiving their guns and a Tanach. In the Tanach they would find the “deed” to the land of Israel. It is all in there, he said.

Quoting from the Vehi She’amdah we recite at the Seder, he reminded us that in every generation enemies have tried annihilate us. Pharaoh tried, the Romans tried, the Crusaders tried, the Nazis tried and nearly succeeded – but Hashem saved us every time. By defending Israel, the soldiers are agents of the Almighty. It is a sacred task of which they should be very proud. In fact, he added, the parents of these young men should also be proud of the education they gave their children to bring them to this point. It is an honor to defend the land and people of Israel and he was sure they would all do so with distinction.

I was crying as I looked out at the young soldiers and listened to the officer’s words. And then I looked over at my son and saw that he too was crying.

About the Author: Naomi Klass Mauer is associate publisher of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

17 Responses to “Tears and Pride as a Grandson Joins the IDF”

  1. Gene Strong says:

    Liberals.are a.cancer within israel. Many are liberal American Jews who support obama…A Muslim and no friend of israel.

  2. Are they doing a quenelle ?

  3. I love Israel in My Heart

  4. GOD LOVES ISRAEL…..

  5. Patty Hay says:

    What a beautiful story. God bless the IDF and God bless the American soldiers that are called to Protect.

  6. Lize Bartsch says:

    Praise G-d!!! The Tanach has all the history of Israel, it is the only book that has the full history of a nation since it started out as one man (with G-d)!!! Of course the future of this nation is also available but then you need to read the book of Revelation (which is just a fuller description of Joel and Daniel)

  7. God bless the I D F. God bless Israel.

  8. Marvelous day! God bless each one!

  9. The Lord bless you and keep you all…..

  10. Haley Chace says:

    Proud to Love Israel!…Go IDF!

  11. Haley Chace says:

    Proud to Love Israel!…Go IDF!

  12. Adonai save Jewish!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Russia Steps Up in U.S.-led Nuclear Talks with Iran
Latest Indepth Stories
President Obama

Sources say seemingly irreconcilable differences between the 2 main parties, Washington and Tehran.

Seder at the White House. The one without the kippa is President Obama.

Instead of accepting reality, the President is trying to hold on to an illusion.

peace in our time iran

Those who suggest further capitulation to Iran are wrongly harming the interests of the West.

Haneen Zoabi (L) and Basel Ghattas (R), Arab members of Israel's parliament, both participated in flotillas attempting to break Israel's legal naval blockade of the Gaza strip.

Few Arab Israelis found anything positive in the decision of its MKS to join any Gaza flotilla.

US Jews prefer to be like their non-Jewish liberal friends complaining about “settlements” and Bibi

New Israel Fund & its supporters must be countered; Israel’s in the midst of an unprecedented storm

PM Netanyahu this week identified ISIS and Iran as Israel’s primary threat. It is a planetary threat that carries the promise of peace.

Haym Solomon, overlooked hero of the Revolutionary War, was America’s “Funding Father.”

Latvia, July 4, 1941 they forced many Jews in the shul putting it on fire; everyone was burned alive

There’s blood on the reporters’ hands AND New Israel Fund for funding groups feeding lies to the UN

Respect & appreciation for our country is not only a civic value but an essential Jewish one as well

When words lose meaning, the world becomes an Orwellian dystopia; a veritable Tower of Babel

Israel, like the non-radical Islamic world. will be happy see the ISIS beheaded for once.

Kids shouldn’t have “uninstructed” Internet access, better to train them how to use it responsibly

What if years from now, IS were to control substantial territory? What world havoc would that wreak?

Rambam writes the verse’s double term refers to 2 messiahs: first King David; 2nd the final Mashiach

More Articles from Naomi Klass Mauer

Everyone in the kehilla can get involved, she added, and mothers can network with each other.

book-Behind-Prison-Walls

The book takes us through 2 years in the life of Ann’s daughter, son-in-law and their new baby born in France.

The book is exquisitely illustrated and young children will find it very easy to relate to every page.

“We have an extraordinary tie between the city of New York and the state of Israel,” the mayor told reporters. “Protecting the future of Israel is something so many New Yorkers care deeply about.”

Ida Nudel’s account of how the Soviets persecuted and punished her was far worse than imagined.

“The idea of bringing people back to Yiddishkeit was inside me from my childhood days.”

Shalva founders, the Samuels understood that special-needs children and their families needed more

Dr. Faier passed away in 2009, leaving two manuscripts. The first, A Day is a Thousand Years: Human Destiny and the Jewish People, was published posthumously in 2012.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/tears-and-pride-as-a-grandson-joins-the-idf/2014/05/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: