Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman went out of his way Tuesday to make new immigrants feel comfortable during the traditional welcoming ceremony in his sukkah for Lone Soldiers and Diaspora Volunteers.
Among them was hareidi soldier Nissan Bloom from the Netzach Yehuda (Nahal Hareidi) battalion.
Bloom, a hareidi volunteer from the United States who enlisted into the army right after arriving alone in Israel, shared his personal story, touching all those present.
“Where is Nisan Bloom?” asked Liberman during his speech. While doing so, he addressed a direct statement to him: “To this day I speak while making mistakes and with a thick Russian accent.
“As I have said many times before, in Israel the sky is the limit. It makes no difference if you are a new immigrant or a native Israeli. If you are determined and seek to fulfill yourself and your dreams – everything is possible.”
During his speech Bloom described the debates he had prior joining the army, and described how he dealt the various difficulties. “I have always wanted to come and live in Israel but at the same time I was always nervous about the gaps I would have in the language and culture, and also the quality of education. I believed that going into the army would be the best way to integrate and to learn more about Israeli lifestyle while at the same time I can live by my principles.
Blood said that he chose to serve with the Netzach Yehuda battalion because he figured that was the best way to serve as a fighter for the army, “and as a religious believer, who serves his God.” For those reasons, he said, he chose to leave his home, “although this was very hard for my family, and to give of myself to the country.
“Being a combat soldier means you must overcome the difficulties no matter how challenging they are, as we are fighting for something big, something bigger than us. Faith is stronger than all and can overpower everything,” Bloom said.
The Nahal Haredi Foundation supports Nissan and his friends throughout their army service.
“Just like Nissan, you can find dozens of hareidi soldiers in the battalion who are originally from abroad, who volunteered to serve in the Israeli army, leaving behind their families,” the foundation said in a statement. “There are dozens of hareidi Lone Soldiers who are also Israeli citizens disconnected from their families, due to their choice to serve in the army.
“We would like to thank the hareidi families who support and provide the Lone Soldiers with a second home, so that the integration between their lives with Torah and Mitzvot along with significant army service is complete. We do all we can at all times and will continue to do so, to ensure that no soldier feels lonely during their army service.”Hana Levi Julian