Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Soldier of the People

Yom revi'i, 27 Av 5772.

As much as I love writing this blog, guest posts from my sons are still my favorites.  Here, Yeshiva Bochur (aka Exiled Warrior) shares some feelings about another aspect of being an IDF soldier.

"I'm not a role model... Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids."    (Charles Barkley, 1993)


Today, while walking through the stone passageways of the Old City in my uniform, I was reminded of something. Something that a soldier sitting on the lonely border, counting the hours before he goes home again, can easily forget: my job as an IDF soldier.

Of course, I know that part of my job is to guard the borders of Israel from possible attacks. I know that part of my job is that in case of war I must set aside my individual safety for the continuation of the State of Israel. These things we are reminded of everyday.

What I was reminded of today, however, was the other part of my job. Possibly the part I draw the most pride from.

On my short walk through the Old City, two kids asked me to be in a photo with me, at least five people asked me directions, and a few old Yerushalmi women threw me blessings for safety.

Even though I've only been in the army a year and have seen very little of what would be called "action," to those kids I was Yoni Netanyahu rescuing hostages at Entebbe; I was Ro’i Klein leaping on a grenade to protect his fellow soldiers. To them I was a hero, and they were honored to be standing beside me.

It doesn't matter that I've only been in this country two years -- to those "direction seekers" I was a reliable source of information, because of course, I'm a soldier, so of course, I know.

Our job is to defend these people. Whether that means giving our lives in the field of battle or giving a woman a hand with her bags, our job is to help our fellow Israeli.

We are part of the very fabric of this Land. We are your sons and daughters. We are your brothers and sisters. We are your grandkids.

We represent this country and every human being who sacrificed his life for it.

It doesn’t matter what I was before, what I will be after, or what I am when the uniform comes off.  When I don this garb, I represent sixty-four years of rebuilding the State of Israel, sixty-four years of bravery, sixty-four years of brotherhood.

It is this part of my job, we soldiers tend to forget. And it this part of my job the Old City reminded me of today.

Sleep well Am Yisrael. Your family has got your back.

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