HaShomer HaChadash volunteer Reut Levy, a resident of Moshav Neta in the Lachish region in south-central Israel, was chosen to light a torch at Israel’s main Independence Day ceremony.
This is a profound gesture of the right-wing political echelon’s trust in the self-reliant group whose take-charge approach to security concerns have inspired the nation.
The tradition of lighting torches began in 1949 when the Speaker of the Knesset and youths belonging to the Gadna premilitary program visited Theodor Herzl’s grave bearing torches. One year later, in 1950, the torch-lighting ceremony become an official event symbolizing the unity of the nation. The 12 torches represent the 12 Tribes of Israel, and are lit by Israeli individuals––who normally include non-Jews––who made an outstanding contribution to society.
Modeled after the Hashomer Jewish defense organization that was founded in 1909, HaShomer HaChadash was founded in 2007 to deal with guarding open fields against criminals, assisting farmers, and educating about Zionism and agriculture (New Report Exposes Grip of Protection Extortion on Jews and Arabs in Israel).
Reut Levy said in response: “I am proud and excited for being chosen to light a torch at the Independence Day ceremony, representing HaShomer HaChadash Organization. As a volunteer for the past three years and an active participant in the Alexander Zaid leadership program, I witness the daily contributions of thousands of young men and women who tirelessly help and protect Israeli farmers. We come from diverse backgrounds, including secular and religious, rural and urban, united by a common mission to promote the values of mutual responsibility, Zionism, and a deep love for the Land of Israel. The opportunity to represent this incredible organization is a privilege for which I am truly grateful.”
Shula Levi, the principal of the Amit Kama school in Yerucham, said: “Reut is an example of a young leader and trailblazer, loved by her classmates, a girl whose work and volunteering for the people of Israel and the Land of Israel are her guiding lights. She has been volunteering for the past three years at HaShomer HaChadash with humility and dedication, and is loved and appreciated wherever she goes.”
Folks, we have a new and moral leadership in Israel. Stay tuned.