As a 23 year IDF reservist and a current sergeant serving in an IDF Paratroopers unit, I love the IDF.
As a Jew, I love the IDF!
As an Israeli, I love the IDF!
As someone who heard stories from grandparents who lived through and survived the nightmares of Europe, I love the IDF.
Put aside my obvious bias and love for the Israel Defense Force soldiers, there is something unique about the IDF that I do not think any military in world can claim the same.
In Hebrew, the IDF is known as צבא העם, the nation’s army. You might make the mistake and think that every military in the world is a national army, but that is not what I said.
I said the IDF is a ‘nation’s army’!
While all countries have a military, many of them are made up of a select few people who joined the army by choice.
People who meet and become best friends in armies around the world would never met f they didn’t draft.
Their only connection is that they both serve. In Israel, the story is much different.
In Israel, soldiers are everyone’s sons and daughters. I do not mean that in some poetic symbolic way, I mean it literally. The IDF soldiers you see in the bottom half of the picture above are the great-grandsons / daughters of the people in the top half of the picture. No matter where you go in Israel, there will be countless neighbors, friends, relatives and others who have sons, daughters, fathers or mothers who are currently serving in the IDF.
Everyone is emotionally connected with every single IDF soldier. We laugh when they laugh, we cry when they cry and we feel their pain and discomfort when they are in dangerous operations or grueling exercises. We are them and they are us, we are one!
When the siren sounds on Israeli Memorial Day the entire country comes to a halt as people cry, remember and honor those who fell in the defense and protection of Israel.
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It is a well known fact that when there are two Jews, there are three opinions. Israel being the Jewish Democratic State has around six million Jewish Prime Ministers and 20% of non-Jewish Prime Ministers. If America is considered a melting pot, Israel is a small can of sardines made up of religious Jews, secular Jews, Ashkenazin, Sefardim, right wingers, left wingers, Christians, Muslims, Druze… all packed into a tiny area about the size of NJ and everyone has their own opinion.
Whether it be in the Israeli Knesset or on the street corners, one can clearly hear the religious, political or soccer debates going on and more often than not they get quite vocal and heated. No matter how much the right and left don’t get along politically, when in uniform, all arguments disappear as do the ill feelings towards each other. Socio-economic differences, religious differences and political differences actually evaporate once in uniform as all of Israel knows we are fighting for our survival. It is quite an enigma how I can have a very heated political argument with one of my platoon mates and then go out together on a dangerous IDF operation knowing that we would give our own lives to save each other.
We at Standing Together believe that the family and support IDF soldiers deserve does not end at Ben Gurion airport or with Israeli citizens.
There are thousands of Lone Soldiers whose families are living overseas and are just as concerned about their children as the Israeli families are. We also know that Jews from around the world feel the same connection and love for IDF soldiers as we do here in Israel.
Our goal is to show soldiers who are putting their own lives on the line that they are appreciated, supported and loved by Jews from all over the world.
That is why the IDF is a ‘Nations Army”
We are all ONE!
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