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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘soldier’

IDF Base Robbed

Friday, October 19th, 2012

An IDF base a few miles west of Tiberias was robbed Friday morning after masked men entered the base, tied up a soldier, and stole his rifle and several other weapons.

Training in Lebanon-Like Terrain

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

These are future IDF commanders practice infantry maneuvers in thickets that resemble those found in Lebanon – lots of trees, plants and shrubbery.

We took this image from the IDF Spokesperson’s Office, which also wrote the above inscription.

I shudder at the talk of war. I hate war. I’m not trying to sound liberal or enlightened. I hate war viscerally. I was 12 during the ’67 war and didn’t like it, despite all the miracles. I remember my dad’s ashen face during the three weeks before that miraculous victory. He had seen war. He knew war could come at you and everything you thought would be there forever is suddenly a small heap of rubble. My dad taught me to hate war.

Both my dad and I also recognized that at some point you must fight. We were not pacifists. We just hated war.

I was a soldier in a terrible war, in ’73. It was even more hateful than the one before.

I hated every single war we’ve had to endure.

In the poll we ran over bombing Iran, I checked the option “Avoid attacking at all costs.”

Only 73 out of a total of 1,016 voters sided with me. And 31 chose “Do nothing.”

Seeing this image of sweet Israeli boys preparing to do war in a Lebanese terrain frightens me. I could recite as well as anyone else the sound reasons that exist to send them into yet another war. I only pray we won’t.

Avoid attacking at all costs. I suppose what I really mean is “Avoid attacking for as long as absolutely possible.” Obviously, I don’t mean we should take it on the chin if our somewhat unstable neighbors to the north decide to go nuts on us.

But I can’t bear the thought of yet another war. I’m not ready.

One Female Warrior Excels during Fire Exchange, as Another Is Shamed

Monday, September 24th, 2012

The shooting incident at Egyptian border that claimed the life of Cpl. Natanel Yahalomi last Friday, was the first combat encounter of Cpl. S. and her comrades of the Caracal Battalion, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.

“I thought about my the parents,” she told the men and women of her unit. “I told the wounded man ‘You’re a hero, I know you’ll be strong.’” In the end, her message is: “be as warrior-like as you can.”

She related how it all began: “Suddenly we heard over the com system a female soldier yelling ‘They’re shooting at me, they’re shooting at us.’ I said the driver – ‘Take us to her as fast as you can, and while he’s driving, I’m thinking I have no idea what I’m going to see. We all had no idea what we’re going to see, really. It was the first encounter with terrorists for me and for the battalion.”

S. attempted to minimize her own role and stress the competent performance of her brothers and sisters in arms: “I thought about the female soldier we had heard over the com-line and was afraid for her. She deserves all the praise, no less than I do. She alerted the forces to get over there.”

According to a report in Kol Israel Radio Monday morning, a large contingency of troops spent more than an houring searching for that other female soldier, who had given the original alert. They feared the worst – that she had been abducted by another team of terrorists. In the end it turned out that she had been hiding in perfect silence in the bushes nearby.

Once she realized that Cpl. Yahalomi could not be saved, “I knew we were in mortal danger,” she continued. Then S. managed to accurately hit one of the terrorists who carried powerful explosives on his person – and she prevented him from blowing up near the soldiers.

“One of the terrorists blew up right before our eyes, and parts of him were flying in every direction,” said Cpl. S., “then, after the shots started, I began to understand what was happening, where we were and from where the terrorists where shooting at us.”

After assaulting and shooting from a prone position, S. and her comrades returned to the wounded man, Matti Yelovsky, who is recovering from his injuries in Soroka hospital.

“I went back to him and said, ‘Be strong, you have stomach injuries.’ He told me he knew that and was in pain, so I asked him to stay alert despite the pain. ‘You are a hero, I know you’ll be strong,’ I told him. We loaded him on the stretcher in the hospital I continued with my commander.”

According to the Kol Israel report, the female soldier who hid in the bushes admitted that she was afraid to open fire in order not to become a target for terrorists.

It has also been reported that the brigade commander interrogating the female soldier told her she did not act as befits a warrior. “You were scared, ran away and did not seek to engage the enemy,” he said.

The soldier replied, “I had no chance against them.”

Haredi Soldier that Was Thrown Out of Shul Honored with an Aliyah

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

The story about the Haredi soldier who was shamed and kicked out of the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak synagogue in Beit Shemesh is not over yet, reports B’Hadrei Haredim: the soldier arrived at the synagogue this week, in civilian clothing, and was honored with an aliyah to the Torah by one of the members.

As, reported last week, a uniformed, 27 year old Haredi soldier, father of two, came to the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak shul in the Nachala U’Menucha neighborhood of Beit Shemesh to pray. At the courtyard entrance, one of the chassidim warned him: “Don’t enter this beis medrash in an IDF uniform.” Later on, when he did decide to go inside, he was verbally attacked by one of the men in the shul who yelled, “Get out, you impure person! Get right out!”

On Monday, close to 11 AM, the same soldier arrived to pray at one of the “shteiblach” (smaller shuls) on the lower level of the same building. According to the report of a person who was also praying there, “the other worshippers spoke with him nicely, even those that had shouted at him. They also spoke about the commotion that resulted from the story’s publication.”

He also said that “one of the people praying there even bought him an aliyah.”

They sell aliyot on a weekday morning? Seriously? That’s a much bigger story than the whole soldier thing…

What No Parent Wants to Watch

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Twitter is an interesting concept – it is, above all else, a border-breaker. It breaks all boundaries, all separations between people – for the good and the bad. I am quite active on it – and as a result meet so many interesting people.

Only from this blog and twitter did I learn the meaning of a Gold Star mother or Gold Star father. Now when I see those words, my heart fills with pain. A Gold Star father changed his avatar, the picture associated with his twitter account.

It’s a beautiful avatar, a dedication to his son, who was just 20 when he died. All gave some – some gave all. Lt. Cpl Christopher Blake Rodgers gave all.

I clicked on the link associated with his father’s account and came to a YouTube video called “Dignified Transfer.” It is more than 14 minutes long – very long for a YouTube video. I watched every second of it. Tears began to fall just as the plane came into view the first time.

It is agony to watch – agony for anyone; especially the parent of a soldier. It is every parent’s nightmare, but especially the parent of a soldier. I watched it to the end and so many thoughts filled my mind. One of them, I’ll share – the title. It is so appropriate – this is the way civilized nations behave; this is the way we honor our dead and how we thank them. The last salute brought a crack to my heart that will take time to heal.

I have never met, nor will I ever meet this young man but from the way in which he was honored, and the love his father shares with us, I know I am lessened for never having met him. May God watch over Christopher Blake Rodgers and bless his memory. May he always be remembered for his sacrifice, his courage, and the love he clearly instilled in so many and may his family know no more sorrow.

Uniformed Haredi Soldier Kicked Out of his Shul

Monday, August 27th, 2012

A Haredi IDF soldier was chased out of the Toldos Avraham Yitzchak shul on Monday morning, in the Beit Shemesh neighborhood of Nachala U’menucha, after appearing at Shacharit services in his uniform.

B’Hadrei Haredim reported that the soldier arrived at the shul, located at Hazon Ish Street, at about 10 AM, looking to participate in the morning service there.

Before entering the shul, he sat outside the building. One of the Chassidim passing by requested that the soldier “keep out.”

He explained to the soldier that since he was wearing the uniform of the “Army of the Zionist State,” he was not permitted to enter a shul whose members strongly advocate an anti-Zionist ideology.

The soldier, who was shocked at the blunt order, complied.

However, a few minutes later, when he discovered that there was no other prayer minyan at such a late hour, he entered the shul to pray. At this point, he was attacked by an individual who shouted, “Get right out. Get out, you tameh (impure being)!” as onlookers stood by and did not come to the soldiers aid.

The soldier, trying to avoid an even more embarrassing scene, went out to the courtyard where he finished praying.

Several community members admonished the man who had thrown him out. “He’s a Haredi just like we are,” said one of them.

“What you did is a desecration of God’s name and it’s as if you spilled his blood,” added another.

In contrast, another man witnessing the commotion commented, “Stop blabbering. If you’re so worried about the soldier, let him marry one of your daughters.”

The soldier, 27, is married and the father of two children.

IDF Soldiers Complain: Haredi Soldiers Received $5,000 Each in Illegal Grants

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

On Tuesday, soldiers in the IDF Kfir brigade sent a letter to the office of Chief of Staff Benny Gantz complaining about discrimination between soldiers serving in the Haredi Netzach Yehuda battalion and other soldiers in the brigade, Walla reports.

According to the soldiers’ claims it appears that recently soldiers serving in the Haredi battalion each received a grant of $5,000 from an American philanthropist.

According to one of the soldiers that discovered the occurrence, the Haredi soldiers received a one-time grant of $3,000 towards home furnishing and $2,000 towards general shopping for their families. The soldier claims that other soldiers, especially married secular soldiers, have been discriminated against since they are not eligible for this grant.

According to IDF orders, any contribution made for IDF soldiers has to go through the Association for the Wellbeing of Israeli Soldiers which distributes the money under the supervision of the Office of Human Resources personnel department.

Soldiers further claimed that senior Netzach Yehuda officers were in attendance at a charity event on behalf of the Haredi soldiers which took place two months ago at a Jerusalem hotel.

“The outcome was that married, non-Haredi soldiers do not receive a $5,000 grant and that the IDF supports this discrimination,” said a brigade soldier.

IDF sources report that the matter is being investigated by the secretary of IDF High Command.

The IDF spokesperson responded: “When the complaint letter is received, it will receive a direct reply. Army orders forbid direct contributions to individual soldiers or a unit which do not go through the Association for the Wellbeing of the Soldier or the Libi Fund.”

Combat IDF Sergeant’s Team Finishes Second at World Bridge Championship

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

A combat soldier in the Kfir Infantry Brigade, Sgt. Lee Rosenthal, is also one of the best bridge players worldwide. Just last week the Israeli bridge team placed second in the world bridge championship for competitors under the age 21 held in Taicang, China a week ago. The skillful players overcame teams from China, Italy and dozens of other countries, defeated only by the Dutch team by a single point. Among the team members are two IDF soldiers, completing their full service.

“We were extremely proud of our achievement,” said Sgt. Rosenthal to the IDF Website after winning in the world championship of one of the most popular card games. “This was my first world championship, and I hope to participate again in the next competition that will be held in two years.”

Upon enlisting in the IDF, Sgt. Rosenthal was offered a special course in the army especially designed for outstanding athletes. The course combines the fulfilling military service without sacrificing the athlete’s skills and potential, ensuring they will be able to continue training. In spite of the tempting offer, Sgt. Rosenthal chose to serve in an infantry unit. “The moment I put on the uniform I knew I wanted to be a combat soldier,” he said. “I couldn’t imagine being the kind of person who forgoes an opportunity to gives his maximum. I enlisted to the Kfirm Infantry Brigade even though I knew it might affect my game.”

About a year ago, Sgt. Rosenthal understood that he cannot give up the game and decided to recruit a fellow bridge enthusiast and IDF soldiers who serves in the C4I or Teleprocessing Corps. “I called him up, he thought I was crazy. He said that we are both serving in serious, demanding positions that make training at a national level virtually impossible,” he explained. Though the two did not give up, “Instead of going to sleep we would train individually and would volunteer to stay on base on weekends so that we would be allowed to leave for competitions. I would sleep less than four hours a night and continue training,” added Sgt. Rosenthal.

The effort was definitely worth it, as both dedicated soldiers made it to the national Israeli bridge team. Many of their fellow combat soldiers were surprised to hear of their success, “Most people think bridge is a game only elderly women play, though this isn’t true at all. This sport is extremely popular among Israeli youth,” he said. Sgt. Rosenthal’s commanders and fellow soldiers are proud of the gifted card player.

Sgt. Rosenthal leads a double life, completing a meaningful military service as a combat soldier as well as playing a competitive sport at an international level. “I believe that if you want something and are willing to put in the effort, you can succeed. You must know that you will have to sacrifice things,” he stressed, “but it is definitely possible and worth it. To me this brings both personal and national pride.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/combat-idf-sergeants-team-finishes-second-at-world-bridge-championship/2012/08/12/

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