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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘army’

IDF Helps Settlers Hold Firm in Judea, Samaria

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

For the past several months, residents of Beit El and other Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria have been living with a wave of increased Palestinian Authority Arab terrorism.

Road terror attacks have included near-daily rock attacks on the roads, including Highway 60, the main artery that runs from the north in Samaria all the way south through Jerusalem and down through Judea to the Negev.

Other attacks involve firebomb attacks (Molotov cocktails) aimed at motorists driving vehicles with Israeli license plates, and occasional shootings as well.

The residents of Beit El, north of Jerusalem, have been living with an especially intense wave of violence emanating from the nearby the Arab village of Jeelazun.

An IDF army base is located right on site at the entrance of the community, however, and soldiers guard the town around the clock – as other security teams both civil and military do in every other settlement throughout Judea and Samaria. The arrangement works for both the residents of Beit El and for the soldiers, who are often tasked with carrying out searches for fugitives in Jeelazun, a hotbed of terrorism.

Nearly as complicated, Beit El is also located right next door to the Palestinian Authority capital of Ramallah.

The Gang’s All Here

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip.

Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in Eilat.

He looks proud.

Photo by IDF Spokesperson/Flash90

Photo by IDF Spokesperson/Flash90

These kids deserve a special mi shebeirach – use the regular IDF text and add some sea language, maybe with the rustle of waves and seaguls.

And that goes for you, too, Haredi shuls. I know your siddurim don’t even have the prayer for IDF soldiers – get them Xeroxed. Yes, you know who I’m talking about…

Amid Crisis, Ukrainian Jewish Community Receives Rescue Efforts Training

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

KIEV, Ukraine – The current political crisis in Ukraine has propelled its Jewish community to request emergency training from Israeli emergency response organizations, United Hatzalah and ZAKA.

As the Ukrainian crisis developed during the past three months of anti-government protests, Ukrainian rabbis appealed for help in emergency response training. Rabbi Moshe Reuven Azman, the Ukrainian Chief Rabbi, and Rabbi Hillel Cohen of the Ukrainian Hatzalah made the request to ZAKA Chairman Yehuda Meshi Zahav and United Hatzalah President Eli Beer. The men mobilized their organizations to work together to train the local team in only a matter of days.

United Hatzalah and ZAKA, in cooperation with the Isralife Foundation have worked together to train Jewish volunteers of the local Kiev Hatzalah. The Ukrainian participants received training in the latest emergency, rescue and search techniques in order to respond and provide aid to mass casualty emergencies should the crisis in the country escalate. The Ukrainian participants have also been trained to provide first aid in mass casualty emergency situations, and include protocols for CPR, treating suffocation, injuries and diseases.

Ukraine Training 2 “We were pleased to come to the assistance of the Ukrainian community during their time of need and provide the emergency training their volunteers need to handle local emergencies in an efficient and timely manner,” said Beer. “Both ZAKA and United Hatzalah each offered unique services and perspectives on emergency response and we were happy we could work together to help our fellow Jews.” “We are grateful to both organizations for responding so quickly and generously to help our community in this time of need. The events surrounding us require our community to be prepared with the latest training and techniques so we can respond to emergencies and help our people quickly in these dangerous times,” said Rabbis Azman and Cohen in a joint statement. In the Ukraine, much of the Jewish population is located in the country’s capital, Kiev while other sizable communities reside in Lvov, Dnepropetrovsk and Odessa. Since the early 1990s, 340,000 Ukrainian Jews have immigrated to Israel.

In related news, a Ukrainian man was treated in Israel yesterday, Wednesday, March 5, after suffering severed damage to his left forearm from shrapnel in Kiev’s Independence Square during riots. Referred to as Alexander S., he was the first Ukrainian to arrive to Israel for treatment, following approval by Dr. Valeria Bivitzchik from Rehovot’s Kaplan Medical Center, who recently volunteered with the Ukrainian Red Cross and arranged for injured citizens to be flown to Israel for medical treatment. Alexander was brought to Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot where he will undergo surgery to reconstruct the bones and repair the soft issue in his arm under the care of hospital’s surgical and orthopedic departments in the coming days.

Israeli Airforce Takes Out another Gaza Motorcycle Terrorist

Sunday, February 9th, 2014

A terrorist from the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) was critically wounded Sunday morning in an Israeli Air-force attack in Deir al-Balah, central Gaza Strip, while riding his motorcycle, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s office.

The assassination attempt was executed in cooperation with the Shabac-GSS. Palestinian sources report a second injury as a result of the same attack.

According to the IDF, the attack’s target, Abdullah Harti, 29, had taken part in shooting rockets into Israel and in planning additional high-trajectory rocket attacks.

“The IDF is seriously concerned about every shooting attempt into the State of Israel and will continue to act with force against any terror attempt. The IDF is laid out and prepared to defend the citizens of the State of Israel,” the IDF Spokesperson stated.

Harti, a resident of the Nuseirat Refugee Camp, had been involved in recent years in planning and executing different kinds of attacks against Israel in the Gaza Strip and along the Sinai border. Among other acts of terrorism, Harti has been collaborating with the Global Jihad Ansar Beit al-Maqdisi group in the northern Sinai, an attack on Rt. 12 in August 2011, and several rocket volleys against Eilat last January.

30% of Religious-Zionist Girls Join IDF, and the IDF Needs More

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Approximately 30% of young women who graduate from Religious-Zionist High Schools go on to join the IDF, according to a report in Makor Rishon. From the remainder, the majority do a year or two of National Service.

Among the general population, 42% of women don’t join the IDF.

For the IDF Manpower Division, 30% of the Religious-Zionist women simply just isn’t enough, and they are looking for ways to significantly increase that number.

The primary fears among Religious-Zionist women is that IDF service is incompatible with a religious life-style, alongside the longstanding stereotype that one of the primary missions of women in the IDF is to make coffee for the officers.

The IDF plans to take steps to make IDF service more attractive to incoming Religious-Zionist girls, including opening new IDF career paths, making sure their religious rights are guaranteed, ensuring prayer times, the option to wear skirts instead of pants, and trying to group Religious-Zionist recruits together, so they’ll feel more comfortable.

In addition, according to the plan, Religious-Zionist girls may be given the option to appear before a special religious committee to change units, and potentially, to even opt out of the army, if they find their current unit, or the IDF as a whole, to disparate and incompatible with their religious lifestyle.

The IDF wants to ensure that there will be Halachic oversight for Religious-Zionist women, and be able to handle any questions or problems that may arise for them.

The IDF is even making a point of letting Religious-Zionist girls know they’d be getting important jobs, and won’t end up making coffee for someone.

In 2011, 1,500 Religious-Zionist young women went to the IDF, in 2012 that number rose to 1,800.

A survey done by “Aluma” of Religious-Zionist women serving in the IDF found that 85% of them felt that the IDF service did not negatively affect their religiosity, and some even found their Judaism strengthened by their IDF service.

The IDF can do that for that you.

Photo by: Matan Hakimi /IDF Spokesperson / Flash 90

Photo by: Matan Hakimi /IDF Spokesperson / Flash 90

Eighteen…

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

By the time I started this blog, Elie was 19, almost 20 years old and about to enter the army. By the time I really introduced Shmulik, he was close to entering the army as well. Somehow, with the lull between Shmulik leaving and Davidi entering, I have more time to share who Davidi is, long before he will enter the army.

He turned 18 this past week (though his English birthday is actually next week), full of school and wanting to start driving lessons and one other major milestone that will change who he is. He is going to Poland in a few weeks. If you’ve never been there, you can’t imagine the impact standing in a gas chamber will have on you. You just can’t imagine seeing ashes and ashes, ovens that were used to burn the remains, cemetery after cemetery, and so much more. To go as a Jew to Poland is to focus, for a time, not on those who walk the earth today, but those who are buried beneath it (if they were lucky enough to be buried).

Right before Amira was going into her last year of high school, she told me she wanted to go to Poland. Her school has a policy not to take students out of Israel and so they don’t organize a trip to Poland. It was something, this pilgrimage, that was very important to my oldest daughter but she was afraid it would be too much for her and so she asked me to come along, told me she needed me.

What could I do? I went. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done…for many reasons. I left in Israel, tiny Aliza – only 2 and a half years old. Amira’s son is now 2 and a half years old and I think Amira now realizes how hard it was for me. I missed the others terribly, but somehow, my arms ached to hold Aliza most of all. My husband was amazingly supportive. I wish, sometimes, I had gone with him. I felt bad crying in front of Amira and had I gone with Lazer, we would have cried together. But his parents were Holocaust survivors; he has no interest in going back to the places where they lost so much.

I dreaded the trip that would take me out of Israel, away from the others.Once I landed in Poland, I realized that it would be impossible for me not to see, not to feel. I had thought I was going to support Amira and yet, in many ways, she supported me. It was a brutal trip, agonizing in so many ways.

As I sat this week, listening to the itinerary of where Davidi will go, my eyes filled with tears. I know the route they will take, the places they will see, and the agonies he will feel. He is supposed to tell them if we had relatives in one of the cities where they will visit. My great-grandmother lived in Cracow with my grandfather’s two sisters. They will spend Shabbat there; walk on roads my grandfather once walked. I know only the names but not where they lived. My mother has copies of letters that her grandfather wrote to her father. I’ll have to ask her if she has copies of the envelopes…if she has an address. Do I want my Davidi to go there?

When my mother-in-law and father-in-law went back to the small village where my father-in-law had grown up as a child – many years after the war had ended – he was greeted with a knife by the woman who had moved into his father’s home. It seems Lazer’s father, had lent her some money and she thought his son had come to call in the loan. When my father-in-law explained he only wanted to show his wife and daughter the home in which he had grown up, the woman allowed him to enter.

Haredi Establishment Gets Fresh Draft Martyr, Expect Noise

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

On Wednesday, hundreds of yeshiva students demonstrated outside Prison Six in Atlit, south of Haifa, where the IDF has placed Moshe A., 19, a yeshiva student dodging the draft.

On Sunday, Moshe came to his Kiryat Malachi home for a short furlough from his Lithuanian yeshiva Nachlat Asher in Petach Tikva. According to his mother, Miri, who spoke to Ynet, the IDF recruitment department called to make sure he was home, and then, at 2:30 AM Monday, some MPs arrived and arrested Moshe.

“Since then I haven’t heard a thing from him,” his mother said, who’s getting the news about her son only through his yeshiva rebbi.

On Tuesday, Moshe A. was sentenced to 14 days in jail for ignoring an invitation from the army. His mother said Moshe was very much afraid of the draft, after hearing that yeshiva boys are “ruined” in the army. She added that on Sunday he called his father to say tearfully that “people are cursing here, dirtying their mouths, I can’t stand it.”

Just to set the record straight, the IDF Spokesperson’s office made clear that Moshe A. was the only yeshiva student arrested, but not because he’s opposed to the draft—they all are, but because he chose to ignore the draft notice. According to the IDF, everybody else who are classified as a draft candidate whose Torah study is his livelihood did show up, register and received a deferment until the Knesset passes the new draft law.

Moshe A. was following the command of Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, leader of the Jerusalem Lithuanian Haredim, who declared the effort to recruit yeshiva students “gzeirat shmad,” tantamount to the medieval church’s attempts to convert Jews by force.

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An ad published in a Haredi paper associated with Rabbi Auerbach last week cited him as saying that since the current notices being sent out to yeshiva students of age are only for the purpose of screening and placement—and not actual draft notices—students must not report at all.

So Rabbi Auerbach and his merry band of Haredim needed a pawn to serve their political aims, not the least of which is fund raising for the glorious struggle against the Torah hating Zionisrs, and Moshe A. volunteered.

haredim by prison

Just to make things even more complicated, according to his mother, Moshe A. is scheduled to undergo back surgery next week. “They promised me to release him until then,” she said. “But I’m worried. Meanwhile he’s suffering pain over there. I don’t know what his medical condition is, and I’m afraid they’ll harass him and force him to do things which are contrary to his faith…”

Transportation from Kiryat Malachi, in the northern Negev, to the prison up north presents a problem for Miri, who relies on buses to travel. “In my entire life I never took the bus to Haifa,” she said.

Rabbi Auerbach did show up in front of the prison gates Wednesday, with hundreds of followers, to pray for “the removal of the decree.”

The elderly rabbi visited Moshe A. in his prison cell, gave him a religious seifer-book and a bouquet of flowers. He also asked the boy to bless him.

Now that the first yeshiva student has been punished with a short prison sentence, the fight is bound to intensify. The rally by the jail marked the start of a new campaign, in Israel and abroad, in which the name of the state of Israel will be dragged through the mud and the IDF be compared to Stalin and the Communists.

The Warrior’s Tale

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

The warrior’s tale is a simple enough thing. Strong as steel, but fragile as chance. It is the wind in his soul and the wall we build around ourselves to tell us who we are.

Before there were cities or nations, and railways and airports, computers and telephones– the tale was told around campfires. Acted out in pantomime, dressed up in animal furs and cave paintings. But the tale was the same. The people were confronted with a threat and they called upon the best and strongest of their men to go out and fight it. These were their warriors. What they did in the face of that threat is the tale.

The tale has many variations. Sometimes there are many warriors, sometimes only a handful. They march into the village of the enemy in triumph, or they make a last stand on a rocky outcropping, spending the last of their heart’s blood to buy time they will never know. There is the weak man who becomes strong, the strong man who becomes weak, the woman who mourns the man who will never return, and the man who goes off to battle with nothing to lose. These tales have been told countless times in the ages of men, and they will be told again for as long as men endure.

It is not only the warriors who need the tale, or those left behind. Future generations learn who they are from this tale. “We are the people who died for this land,” is the unseen moral of each tale. “We bled for it. Now it is yours to bleed and die for.”

The warrior’s tale tells each generation that they stand on the wall against a hostile world. And that the wall is made not of stones, but of their virtues. Their courage, their integrity and their craft. Theirs is the wall and they are the wall– and if they should fail, then it will fail. And the land and the people will be swept away.

What happens to a people who forget the warrior’s tale and stop telling it around their campfires? Worse , what of a people who are taught to despise the figure of the warrior and what he represents? They will not lose their courage, not all of it. But they will lose the direction of that courage. It will become a sudden unexplained virtue that rises to them out of the depths of danger. And their wall will fail.

It is the warrior’s tale that makes walls. That says this is the land that we have fought for, and we will go on fighting for it. It is sacrifice that makes mere possession sacrosanct. It is blood that turns right to duty. It is the seal that is above law, deeper still to heritage. Anyone can hold a thing, but it is sacrifice that elevates it beyond possessiveness. And it is that tale which elevates a people from possessors of a land, to the people of the land.

Universalism discards the warrior’s tale as abomination. A division in the family of man. Their tale is of an unselfish world where there are no more divisions or distinctions. Where everyone is the same in their own way. But this tale is a myth, a religious idea perverted into totalitarian politics. It is a promise that cannot be kept and a poison disguised with dollops of sugar. It lures the people into tearing down their wall and driving out their warriors. And what follows is what always does when there is no wall. The invaders come, the women scream, the children are taken captive and the men sit with folded hands and drugged smiles dreaming of a better world.

The warrior’s tale explains why we fight in terms of our own history. The Great Swamp Fight. The Shot Heard Round the World. The Battle of New Orleans. Gettysburg, San Juan Hill, Belleau Wood, Pearl Harbor, Heartbreak Ridge, the Tet Offensive, Kandahar, and Fallujah. Generations of sacrifices must be defended. And those who wage war on us must be made to pay.

Universalism demands that war must answer to universal aims and objectives. That there is a universal law higher than war. But this is a children’s story. The laws of men derive from their own interests. Those who can rule by force or coalition make their laws to serve their own ends. This is the way of the world.

Those who pretend to live by universalism will still fall to the law of steel. Rhetoric is no defense against fire and lead, and international codes have no defense against those who will break them. The talk may go on, but it is the warriors who will end it. It is still the warrior’s tale to tell, even if all others have forgotten it.

The warrior’s tale is no happy thing. It is bitter as bile and dark as death. But it is also a grand and glorious thing. For even in its full naked truth, it is the story of perseverance in the face of every agony and betrayal. It is the tale of how we live and why we die.

Even when all others forget their tale, the warriors remember. Even when they are called peacekeepers and turned into an army of clowns for the satisfaction of their political masters. The armies may decay, but warriors still remain in their cracks, on their edges– men who are not wanted, but are needed because they are the only ones who can do the grim work and do it well. They may only be a hundredth of an army, or a thousandth. A fraction of a fraction. But without them there is no army, only empty uniforms.

When the warrior’s tale is forgotten, then they become shadows. Dangerous men despised and feared. Thought of as killers, dismissed as monsters and stared at like beasts in a cage. But the society cannot deny them. It cannot deny that part of them. When the warrior diminishes, the energy is directed elsewhere. Sport becomes an obsession and matches end in bloody violence. Crime increases. Prisons fill up. So do police forces.

As the external war fades, the internal one begins. Barbarians come from without. Buildings burn, mobs rage and there is a savagery in the air.

No law can protect a society that has forgotten the warrior’s tale. It will turn outward, and adopt the warrior tales of outsiders. The samurai will replace the cowboy. The sports star will be an outsider. Its heroes will become foreigners. Men who understand the virtue of violence and will do what their own people have been forbidden. Who have the vital energy that a society without a warrior’s tale lacks.

When a people give up their own warrior’s tale for that of others, they lose the ability to resist them. For each people’s warrior’s tale says that we are people, and they are enemies. We are warriors and they are murderers. When a people have no other warrior’s tale but that of their enemies, they will come to believe that they are monsters. And that their enemies are brave warriors.

The day will come when they are asked who they are, and they will not know. They will point to their possessions and the names of their streets and cities. They will speak of higher ideals and cringe for not living up to them. They will be asked why they fight, and they will say that they do not want to fight. That all they want is peace at any price.

Even the most powerful of civilizations with the mightiest of cities becomes prey when it forgets the warrior’s tale. It takes more than weapons to defend a city, it demands the knowledge of the rightness of their use. It is no use dressing men in uniforms and arming them, if they are not taught the warrior’s tale. And it is nearly as little use, sending them off to watch and keep, if the men above them discard the warrior’s tale as violent and primitive gibberish.

An army of millions is worth little, without the warrior’s tale. Strategy is technique, firepower is capacity, both begin and end with the human mind. “Why do we fight,” is the question that the warrior’s tale answers far better than any politician could. “We fight because this is ours. It is our honor, our duty and our war. We have been fighting for hundreds and thousands of years. This is what makes us who we are.”

We are the people, says the warrior’s tale. But we are every people, says the universalist’s tale. All is one. There is no difference between us and them. And we will prove it by bringing them here. Then the walls fall and it falls to the warriors to make their last stand. To tell another warrior’s tale with their lives.

This is the quiet war between the philosopher merchants who want trade and empire, and the warriors who know that they will be called upon to secure the empire, and then die fighting the enemy at home. It is how the long tale that begins with campfires and ends with burning cities goes. The story that begins with cave paintings and ends with YouTube videos. Whose pen is iron, lead and steel. And whose ink is always blood.

We have been here before. Told and retold the old stories. The forest, the swamp, the hill and the valley. And behind them the lie, the maneuver and the betrayal. The war that becomes unreasoning and the people who forget why they fight. And one by one the warriors slip away. Some to the long sleep in the desert. Others to secluded green places. And still others into the forgetfulness of a people’s memory. The hole in the heart of a people who forget themselves and become nothing.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/sultan-knish/the-warriors-tale/2013/11/13/

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