web analytics
March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


WINGS AND A PRAYER

New Jersey Yeshiva Student Now an Israeli Fighter Pilot

‘Lt. B.’ came to Israel to learn Torah for a year and go back to NJ for university. He thought about the army and the Air Force grabbed him, fulfilling his childhood wish to be a pilot. Read and be proud.
Israel Air Force pilot - security procedures prohibit a personal photo of 'Lt. B.' of New Jersey

Israel Air Force pilot - security procedures prohibit a personal photo of 'Lt. B.' of New Jersey
Photo Credit: IDF

Notice to readers: Israeli Air Force security severely restricts private information on pilots, whose identity could be exploited by enemies. Lt. B says that many readers who know him will understand from this article that he is the subject. Both Lt. B. and the IDF request that all readers will respect Israel’s need for strict security and will not use the Internet for any communication concerning Lt. B.

 

“Lt. B.” of New Jersey has become one of a few but growing number of religious Jews to pilot Israel’s fighter jets, and he is one of a tiny number of American religious immigrants to do so.

“I had a childhood dream to be a pilot,” says Lt. B., whose name and home town cannot be revealed for security reasons.

In a special interview with the Jewish Press that was arranged through IDF spokesmen under security supervision, he spoke about his unintended venture into the Israeli Air Force. Lt. B. spoke with the Jewish Press on the Fourth of July and said, “Independence Day was a holiday for me when I was in America, but Yom Ha’Atzamaut now is my Independence Day.”

He graduated from a religious high school in New Jersey, and with the support of his father and Israeli-born mother, Lt. B. packed up his bags at the age of 17 for the common “spend a year in Israel” idea before planning to go back to the United States to attend university.

Lt. B. chose a Golan Heights “mechina,” the Hebrew word for a pre-army Torah learning academy, even though he had no intention of serving in the IDF.

He already had made some applications to universities when he was learning in Israel. He was not keen on going into the army until his experience at the mechina “brought out my love for Israel and ambition to do something more special than regular university studies,” the new pilot relates.

Lt. B.rejected the idea of joining the “Machal” program for foreign youth who want to serve for a couple of years before going back home. “I decided to join the army but not to make aliyah,” keeping his eye on university, he admits.

Once he went through the induction tests, the army saw that he was fit both physically and mentally to be a candidate for the Air Force program, in which only one percent of the candidates for pilots’ course eventually end up with their wings.

“I always had a dream about being a pilot,” relates Lt. B. “The Air Force liked my test results. That is when I decided to make aliyah. I told myself, ‘I have a dream and will try to fulfill  it.’ I was 18 and fit. If it had not worked out, I probably would have served 2-3 years and gone back to the States.”

But it did work out.

Lt. B. had a bit of family history to fall back on. “My mother served in the Air Force for five years,” he reveals. “I was not expecting to finish the course because it is difficult, but I did not look that far ahead. You don’t even know what is happening next week.

“My agenda was to take every day and every hour at a time and give 110 percent, finishing the day and knowing that I did what I could, and no less.”

At the age of 22 – yes, girls, he still is single –  Lt. B. was one of several pilots to get their wings last month. His parents were there for the ceremony but did not arrive from the United States. They already had followed Lt. B. to Israel, making aliyah with all of their children and now living in “central Israel,” which is the most specific location that can be published.

The intense pilots’ program is three years, including three semesters of nine courses leading to a Bachelors of Science degree.

Lt. B. is obligated to serve in the Air Force for another nine years.

In training, he flew a Skyhawk fighter jet and his daily routine, after morning prayers and breakfast, is to hop into his plane and fly – every day, except for Shabbat

Lt. B. says that approximately 3-5 percent of Israeli pilots are religious, a sharp increase when compared with 30  years ago when a religious Air Force pilot was a  rarity.

He says his being American and being an observant Jew is accepted and respected by his colleagues, and that he has been involved with “very  interesting discussions” about Judaism with secular Air Force soldiers and officers.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining 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.

10 Responses to “New Jersey Yeshiva Student Now an Israeli Fighter Pilot”

  1. but you will have me in anti terror assessment shin bet mossad lol

  2. Myriam Obadia says:

    the human capital is the actual best capital of Israel. What a joy to hear about this young man.

  3. Benny Gamal says:

    May G-D bless you and keep you safe!
    Yasher Kochacha Lt. B
    Sincerely,
    Benny Gamal
    Kohen Hashamein

  4. Anonymous says:

    unfortunately, too few Israeli yeshiva students have the same commitment.

  5. Beautiful! Kol hakavod to Lt. B who will hopefully inspire all Jewish young men (and women) to do army or national service for Israel which is every bit as much their country as those who have made aliyah.

  6. Bless you and keep you, your family must be so proud. Sincerely G v Haberland.

  7. Stuart Rosenthal says:

    Kol HaKavod to Lt. B and the IAF. Where would Israel and the diaspora be without you and the IDF?

  8. Yechiel Baum says:

    A true Jew! If the Charedim truly learn, they should learn from him!

  9. Menorah Seven says:

    May Hashem shine on him and his family! TODAH!

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Jon Karl of ABC asks White House Press Secretary, "Yemen is a model of US strategy?"
White House Insists Chaotic Yemen a ‘Model’ for Obama’s War on Terror
Latest News Stories
Mount Hermon cable lift to the top of the mountain.

While there’s not much snow left, there are bike trails, hiking trails and extreme mountain sleds.

Jon Karl of ABC asks White House Press Secretary, "Yemen is a model of US strategy?"

The White House says another foreign policy failure proves Obama is doing something right, but it not clear exactly what.

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he supports Saudi Arabia’s attack on Iranian-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen Saudi Arabia has been joined by other oil-rich states, including Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the Gulf States, all of whom said that “they “have decided to answer the call of President Hadi to protect Yemen and his […]

The former US envoy to the United Nations writes in the NY Times that bombing Iran is the only way to stop a nuclear arms race.

Sappers blew up the bomb, and security forces are trying to track down who placed it there.

The method developed by these Israeli scientists overcomes the network isolation challenge by identifying the computer’s operating temperature.

Authorities have ruled out terror but don’t know of the co-pilot’s motives.

in a new report, Amnesty International charges “Gaza armed groups’ with war crimes in last summer’s Operation Protective Edge.

After failing to replace Netanyahu, the Obama administration wants Ambassador Ron Dermer removed.

PA Chairman Abbas congratulated the Arab party on its success in the March 17 Israeli elections.

Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, had contacted French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to complain about the project.

Sunni countries in the Gulf have been accusing Iran of interference through several Shi’ite proxies in the region.

The time difference between New York and Israel returns to Israel being 7 hours ahead.

14 years ago, a PA Arab terrorist targeted and murdered the 10-month-old Jewish baby.

More Articles from Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Jon Karl of ABC asks White House Press Secretary, "Yemen is a model of US strategy?"

The White House says another foreign policy failure proves Obama is doing something right, but it not clear exactly what.

John Bolton writes in The York Times, "Bomb Iran."

The former US envoy to the United Nations writes in the NY Times that bombing Iran is the only way to stop a nuclear arms race.

Authorities have ruled out terror but don’t know of the co-pilot’s motives.

Why is the black kettle that whistles to Arabs to vote called “democratic” and the one that urges Jews to vote called “racist?”

Nazi symbols were written on the walls of a building that may have been designated as shelters for Nazi leaders.

Lieberman won’t admit he is responsible for the increase in the number of Arab Knesset Members.

Obama is furious, not over alleged Israel’s spying on nuclear talks but that it used the information to influence Congress.

“Each one is a flower in God’s garden” – Chief Rabbi David Lau.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/new-jersey-yeshiva-student-now-an-israeli-fighter-pilot/2013/07/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: