web analytics
November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Fayga Marks: A Frum Defender Of Israel


LBJ-101813-Marks

“I learned something important early on in my army career: the army will accommodate your religious needs—if you stand up for your rights. To be a frum soldier in the IDF, you need a little chutzpah,” says Fayga Marks, an ultra-Orthodox girl and a veteran Israeli soldier.

Isn’t this a rather unusual combination? How did it come about?

An eight-year-old girl, dressed for school in her light blue shirt and dark navy skirt, waled into an elevator and found herself in the company of two Israeli soldiers with M16 rifles slung over their backs. The soldiers, sporting kippot, were her neighbor’s sons, heading back to their base after a Shabbat visit home. The little girl looking at them admiringly, decided that one day she was going to be just like them—a defender of the Jewish people.

That little girl was Fayga Marks, the daughter of an ultra-Orthodox family in an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood.

Unbeknownst to her parents and to the religious community in which she lived, from that day onward, she dreamed of joining the IDF.

As I grew older, my commitment to enlist grew stronger. Despite the fact that a religious girl can claim an exemption, I knew where I was headed when the time came. I can’t say my parents were happy about my decision. My father and my teachers persisted in admonishing me: ‘Frum girls don’t do that. You should go get married and stop worrying about such silliness. Who will marry you after you’ve been in the army?’ I listened politely, but my mind was made up: this girl was IDF bound.”

After induction when it came time to receive uniforms, Fayga was handed a pair of tan pants. “Sorry,” she said, “but I can’t wear this. I’m religious. I’m not wearing something inappropriate. Get me a long skirt!”

Soon Fayga, in her tailor-made ankle-length skirt, found herself becoming the representative of Judaism in her battalion, earning the nickname “haRabbanit” (the rebbetzin) not only for wearing a long skirt but for answering her fellow soldiers’ religious questions.

To illustrate, Fayga relates: “One night a bunkmate asked me to tell her a story. It was Adar, so I told her the story of the Megillah. Even though she was twenty-two years old, she had never heard the story of Purim before. All she knew was that Purim was a holiday of partying and drinking—and this in Israel! I was shocked.

“I feel that I made a true Kiddush Hashem during my two years of army service. Some members of my unit would try to keep Shabbat with me to see what it is like. One of my fellow soldiers was grappling with going to shul every day and putting on tefillin; the commanders would give him a hard time. He tended to give in, rather than confront them. A few weeks after my arrival on the base, he came over to thank me. He said, “If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have the courage to stand up for my religious rights like you do.”

Fayga had in-depth conversations with many soldiers on the base. A few started attending shiurim on base and even tried to keep Shabbat. “I saw many soldiers around me take on certain mitzvot and express interest in learning more about Yiddishkeit. In fact, one female soldier, whom I grew close to, is today shomeret Shabbat and mitzvot.”

Fayga feels that she gained from being in a secular society and having to defend her religious lifestyle. “I did it because of my dream to serve; I did it for my people and my country,” she says a proud smile.

About the Author:


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.

One Response to “Fayga Marks: A Frum Defender Of Israel”

  1. This article should be posted in every Orthodox yeshiva to ally the rabbi's fears that the . ORTHODOX youth will be led astray in IDF service. Rather the fruit youth may lead the secular youth to greater observance.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz delivers lecture.
IDF Chief Rabbi: Nothing is Holy to Muslims on Temple Mount except Al Aqsa
Latest Sections Stories
West-Coast-logo

Lester Crown, a perennial member of the Forbes 400 list since 1982 and founder of the prestigious Covenant Foundation, took the stage in Washington, D.C. before a room of high-powered dignitaries, philanthropists, and innovators.

Collecting-History-logo

Not as well known, however, is Keller’s involvement with Jewish and Israeli communities.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

More Articles from Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson
LBJ-112114

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Over the years there has been no shortage of reporting about Devorah Halberstam, Ari’s mother. Even in Israel, thousands of miles from the Halberstam home, there have been frequent references in the media to Ari’s mother. Do you know why?

When Hitler entered Prague in March 1939, many Czech Jews managed to escape to Palestine, including Alice’s twin Mariane and her families.

Hannah believed that one must learn about the evils of the past so that they aren’t repeated.

Who is Rachel Azaria? Would you have guessed that this dynamo is a religious, 35-year-old woman, mother of four children, ranging in ages from ten years to eight months?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/fayga-marks-a-frum-defender-of-israel/2013/10/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: