Photo Credit: JewishAgency.Org
Tank unit's induction ceremony at Latrun base, Feb. 19, 2013

Another officer read out the oath and the soldiers yelled out in unison either “I swear” or “I affirm.” Each soldier stepped forward as his name was called to get his gun and Tanach, and when the ceremony ended they threw their hats into the air, as graduates all over the word do.

Ah, but what a difference between this graduation and college graduations. Once the caps were off, numerous yarmulkes could be seen. These were not only Hesder students but many observant young men who were going straight from civilian life into the army.


As they marched out to rejoin their families, I offered my prayer to Hashem: Please God, watch over them, protect them and keep them from harm as they go about their sacred work of protecting Your people, Your land. And please bring them back to us whole.

I know that when we say the prayer for the welfare of the soldiers every Shabbat in my shul, I will have some specific soldiers in mind along with all the brave men and women of the IDF.

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Naomi Klass Mauer is the co-publisher of The Jewish Press.