So who here has actually been in the IDF?

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  • #614013
    takahmamash
    Participant

    I’m curious – out of all the posters in the CR who complain about the IDF (the IDF doesn’t do this, the IDF causes that, etc.), how many of you have actually been in the IDF? How many of you have had children in the IDF?

    Having nephews/nieces, cousins, neighbors or neighbor’s kids in the IDF doesn’t count.

    I’m interested to find out who actually knows what they’re talking about from first hand experience.

    I’ll start – I have one child who has finished IDF service, and once in now.

    #1040462
    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    Kol hakavod, takamamash.

    Could we have your son’s name for Tehillim? The one that is currently serving, that is.

    #1040463
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    I’ll start – I have one child who has finished IDF service, and once in now.

    Shkoyach!

    I had several second cousins in the IDF. One is married to a woman from a family that was kicked out of gush katif.

    #1040464
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I have never seen The Death of Klinghoffer. Does that mean I can’t criticize it?

    Also, I have some cousins who served in the IDF.

    #1040465
    ivory
    Member

    So what’s your personal experience takahmamesh

    #1040467
    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    Ivory, I think that having children in the IDF is almost worse (by which I mean scarier) than being in the IDF yourself, you know what I mean?

    It must be terrifying to know that your child might be facing an Arab with a weapon at any time of day! Fear of the unknown is a very significant fear.

    #1040468
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    LG, yes, but that’s got nothing to do with the complaints people have against the IDF.

    #1040469
    ivory
    Member

    That’s not what I meant! I was asking how she found the experience having kids in the army! Not that she diesntt have personal experience!

    #1040470
    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    DY, I was responding to Ivory’s post, not the OP’s.

    Ivory, oh! I’m sorry, in that case. I misunderstood your post.

    #1040471
    Joseph
    Participant

    Are you supposed to join the idf or hope your kid joins it before finding out about the spiritual dangers involved?

    #1040472
    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    20 second hand stories might equal 1 first hand, no?

    #1040473
    Abba bar Aristotle
    Participant

    i did the taharah on klinghoffer

    #1040474
    ☕ DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    OK, LG, sorry.

    Abba, wow.

    #1040475
    takahmamash
    Participant

    LG:

    Could we have your son’s name for Tehillim? The one that is currently serving, that is.

    Why would you assume we have a son in the army, and not a daughter?

    Ivory:

    So what’s your personal experience takahmamesh

    Unfortunately, I was beyond IDF age restrictions when we made aliyah.

    #1040476
    ivory
    Member

    I repeat…. How did you find your children’s army experience?

    #1040477
    takahmamash
    Participant

    Ivory:

    My oldest daughter who finished found it to be a very positive experience. She was assigned to a base near the Syrian border in a non-combat but important job. She was in a group that included both dati and non-dati girls. She came home every other Shabbat, and alternated being off for chagim. She made Shabbat into the best experience she could when she was on base – lighting candles (which she didn’t normally do at home), singing, making kiddish when she wasn’t on shift. She said the other girls respected her for what she did, and the non-dati girls made sure that the rooms and common areas were “Shabbat friendly.” They wouldn’t play music or the radio in the rooms on Shabbat, and they would make phone calls in other areas.

    My youngest daughter has the same job as her sister, but she’s in Beersheva. We tease her that she’s in “IDF summer camp” because she lives in a beit ha’chayal, not on the base, so she has air conditioning and access to a swimming pool. There’s a shule on base that she attends on Shabbat (when she’s off shift), and she’s home every other Shabbat. Her group is all girls, and again some are dati, some are not. She’s busy all the time and loves it.

    I should add that we insisted that each of them attend a midrasha for one year between high school and joining the army. They each learned in a place that had a specific learning program for dati girls going into the army, including learning halachot of what they can and can’t do on Shabbat as far as their jobs, kashrut in the army, and how to properly ask a Rav a shaila if one should pop up suddenly.

    All in all, I’d say the oldest had a positive experience, and the youngest is currently having a positive experience.

    (I’ll add, for full disclosure, that our middle daughter did two years of sheerut leiumi; one at the Israel Museum, and one at Leket Israel.)

    #1040478
    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    I apologize, takamamash. I don’t know what happened there. Temporary lapse of memory, I suppose!

    #1040479
    amichai
    Participant

    my 2 children have been in the IDF. very proud of them. one other child did sherut leumi. may hashem watch over all of our soldiers.

    #1040480
    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    Great so your children had positive experiences. Why are you assuming everyone else is wrong because of that?

    #1040481
    Aryea
    Participant

    I don’t have a son in the IDF, but I do have one in the US Navy Seals. Does that count? The Navy helped pay for his college, and he owes them six years. (As a Navy retiree, I guess I was too much of an influence on him.) He’s going to be one the few US servicemen that are staying in Afghanistan as part of the anti-terrorist forces. Now our other son who’s still a senior in high school wants to join the IDF. He wants to be a Naval Commando and prove he’s tougher than his brother. Kids. What’re you going to do?

    #1040482
    takahmamash
    Participant

    Great so your children had positive experiences. Why are you assuming everyone else is wrong because of that?

    oyyoyyoy, I’m not assuming anything. I just think that “armchair quarterbacks” who have no idea about life in the IDF should not be rendering their opinions about something they know nothing about. Experiences in the IDF can be positive or negative, just like anything else in life. It is what you make of it.

    #1040484
    adams
    Participant

    I served in the 80’s. I only did 1 year and 1 month but was supposed to do 2 years. Honestly, I did not see any of the issues people warn about, the znus, – we didn’t have females as fellow soldiers, they were in their own units. the lack of Kashrus? there were Mashgichim who checked the kitchens. Frum soldiers were allowed to make minyanim on the base. Maybe now it’s worse, I can’t say. I do know several boys from our community who have served and are not worse off in their frumkeit. I found overall very good people there (once out of basic training).

    #1040485
    tzviki16
    Member

    my brother went to the army. he’s a very normal person.

    #1040487
    vayoel moshe
    Member

    B”h neither me or my relatives were ever in the army

    #1040488
    gram
    Member

    My son just finished the IDF, Golani shortly after Gaza.

    B”H he came back safely.

    #1040490
    Letakein Girl
    Participant

    BH!

    #1040492
    vayoel moshe
    Member

    that was the fourth time you tried to submit a post we deleted. If you try again, you will be blocked.

    #1040493
    vayoel moshe
    Member

    I would never join I would rather go to jail

    #1040494
    vayoel moshe
    Member

    Oops sorry it was a mistake has to do with my internet connection

    Your internet connection does not reword and resubmit posts. If a post is deleted, there is a reason.

    #1040495

    I’ve never served and don’t ever plan on it though even if I wanted to I wouldn’t last half a day there- soooo not my speed, all the danger and fear…

    But I admire and respect the courage and fearlessness and bravery and stamina and tolerance and determination and sacrifice and responsibility and discipline, etc. of those who did serve in the army. They put their lives on the line for the lives of their brothers and sisters (like myself). May Hashem bless them with life- lives of quality and richness in all areas.

    #1040496
    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    TM sorry for late response

    who have no idea about life in the IDF should not be rendering their opinions about something they know nothing about.

    But we are people who “have an idea about life in the IDF”, you just dont like that it isnt first hand like you have it.

    Experiences in the IDF can be positive or negative, just like anything else in life. It is what you make of it.

    False. Do you know that there weren’t any cases of people having spiritualy detrimental surroundings? Something like that isn’t subjective, it is inherently a negative experience.

    #1040497
    Randomex
    Member

    eftachbchinor:

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    oyyoyyoy:

    …spiritualy detrimental surroundings? Something like that isn’t subjective, it is inherently a negative experience.

    Might it possibly depend on one’s reaction to it and what one comes away with? (Have you read Rav Dessler’s “Ohr Michoshech” [in the first volume of Michtav MeEliyahu]?)

    #1040498
    assurnet
    Participant

    Mods please excuse me – I’m going to attempt to describe this as politely and non-graphically as possible while sticking to the truth.

    I didn’t serve but I was required to pay a few visits to Lishkat haGeyus before they decided apparently they weren’t interested in me (oleh married with a kid already). However I can speak from my “time” served in the various offices and waiting rooms there. I saw a lot of hormonal teen soldier boys and girls flirting and hanging off each other. The girls’ desks were plastered with pictures of themselves and their girlfriends at the beach (with beach appropriate swimwear) and the guys desks were covered in hand drawn sketches of ladies wearing somewhat less than beach appropriate wear (or lack thereof). How am I to believe the bases are a kosher and tznius environment when that is what greets you before you’ve even signed up? FYI this was in Yerushalayim Ir hakodesh where 90% of the other guys showing up for tzav rishon were charedi/chashidish bochrim, not Afula or something.

    #1040499

    Randomex, you mean the “hachodesh hazeh lachem- hacheresh hayah libam” story?

    #1040500
    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    I havent, no. I do know however that whether or not a person can gain from coming out from such an experience as a stronger yid, he certainly should not put himself into such a position in the first place.

    (il try to see the piece inside when i have a chance)

    #1040501
    writersoul
    Member

    I know people who go to yeshivot hesder (I know one at the moment who is actually a chayal boded who is in a yeshiva regiment) and then are all together in the army and from what I’ve heard it can be a fantastic experience. (I was watching the hashvaah for this soldier’s regiment, specifically the part where they all swear allegiance to the army and the state, and you can hear regiment after regiment say “ani nishba!” and then, all of a sudden, one that says “ani matzhir!”- the yeshiva regiment. They’re very accomodated and are doing something that is important to them.

    A pretty major point in general in this discussion is that people are going to have varying opinions about the viability of the army for frum kids because people have different opinions about the things that frum kids need to make the army spiritually good enough. Someone who needs a black suit and hat and 24/7 learning will obviously not have that and perhaps descend as a result, as they are used to nothing different; someone who grew up expecting to go to the army and expecting to make things work will have more of an ability to do that.

    #1040502
    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    writersoul it sounds like youre agreeing that yeshiva bochrim shudnt go?

    just not 100% sure

    #1040503
    ivory
    Member

    If it is as assurnet is describing how can it be appropriate for any frum boy? Or girl for that matter.

    #1040504
    writersoul
    Member

    oyyoyyoy: I’m agreeing that as far as the status quo is concerned, the kind of boys who are coming out of the current Israeli yeshiva system would probably not do well in the army, from the way they’ve been raised.

    Note that I’m wording that very carefully. I give no definitive opinion and make no judgments.

    #1040505
    oyyoyyoy
    Participant

    gotcha

    #1040506
    northwardb
    Member

    I (51) did four months (basic training & then the combat medics course) back in 1991 in the framework of the (now discontinued?) “Shlav Bet” track for older immigrants. I was home only on Shabbat/chagim during that time.

    After finishing the medics course (with a final mark of 88) & being appointed a medic (rank of corporal), I was assigned to a reserve medical unit. We were an intermediate unit, more than a battalion aid station but less than a field hospital. We functioned as a unit only during exercises & emergencies. In order to complete our annual stints of reserve duty & get our annual quota of days in, we were assigned to a pool of medics. Every year, we’d get called up, meet all together at some base & then get sent out to various units, wherever they needed a medic. This way, I got to meet lots of different people & see many parts of the country.

    I had to get used to dealing with the heartache of leaving my wife, and then leaving her and our eldest son, and then leaving her and both boychiks for 3-4 weeks a year, sometimes over various holydays. (And of course my wife had to get used to both seeing me disappear for 3-4 weeks and seeing an empty place at the table and sleeping in an empty bed and having to deal with the horrible fear that the knock at the door might be two soldiers from the IDF Adjutant’s Office.

    The first time that I went off to reserve duty after our oldest boy had learned to walk and he was old enough to notice my absence, my wife said that he’d waddle into the various rooms of the flat, look inside and ask, “Abba?” I remember the first time I went off to reserve duty after we had adopted him, I was afraid that he wouldn’t remember me when I came home. I remember how overjoyed I was when I came home and he looked up at me & his face lit up and he got all excited & started waving his arms.

    I’ve been on the Egyptian border (1993), on the Lebanese border (1992), in Lebanon (in 1994, by about 300 yards) and in the Jordan Valley, including on the northern end of the Dead Sea (lots of times).

    In the late summer of 1993, I was at a little base on the Egyptian border, between Sinai & the Negev, way out in the middle of nowhere. One night, I drew the all night/wee hour patrol shift. Myself & three other guys were about 20 miles north of the base, on motorized patrol. We stopped for a break. Our Bedouin tracker made coffee on his little portable gas burner & we turned off the lights on the jeep to enjoy the stillness. We were at least 20 miles from the nearest electric light & it was a perfectly clear night. I looked up and just stared in awe at the heavens. I have never, either before or since, seen such a display of stars, the sky was carpeted with them! I could see the Milky Way. I saw falling stars. It was awesome (and humbling). I said the bracha oseh maaseh bereshit. I stood there, just gaping upward, for about 10 minutes until it was time to resume patrolling.

    As we were riding around that night I remembered how back in the US when my brother (3.5 years younger than me) & I were little kids, we would be afraid to go all the way downstairs first thing in the morning (we were always up before our parents) lest the monsters down there get us. So we’d go as far as the landing on the stairs & then call for our big German Shepherd (whom we adored). We’d call for him & wait there on the landing until he came to the foot of the stairs, all bleary-eyed & wagging his tail. Then we knew that it was safe to go downstairs because our good, good dog had chased the monsters away. And I thought about this and I looked around and saw that I was armed to the teeth (M-16 with 5 clips, a heavy swivel-mounted machine gun & a box of grenades) on guard against monsters who were all too real. All I could do was remember that time when the only monsters were the ones in two little boys’ collective imagination & who could be chased away by the family dog.

    I still have a small callous just on the palm of my right hand just below the indexfinger from when I spent 2 hours sweeping & mopping the shul at the base where I was at in 1995.

    I remember seeing the Hale-Bopp comet through the big binoculars in the guard tower at the base I was in in the Jordan Valley in the early spring of 1997.

    I remember, in February 2003, being in the base guard tower (in the Jordan Valley) on a Friday evening, as Shabbat was coming in, in the midst of a howling rainstorm, as the tower windows (shatterproof) were rattling in the wind, and singing Lecha Dodi and feeling as close to Hashem on Shabbat as I’ve ever felt.

    My company commander is/was a real sweetheart, a very nice guy, who looked out for us, went to bat for us, etc. One year, we were all waiting around, on the day we had to report, to receive our assignments. One of the guys sauntered in very late. We kidded him that the company commander would be upset (he wasn’t). The guy, a big burly fellow, said, “Ah, I’m not afraid of him. I’m afraid of only two things in this world, Hashem and my wife.” One of us (not me!) asked him, “Nu, who are you afraid of more?” He replied, “I can see that you’re still single.”

    In August 2000, we had a 1.5-weeklong exercise at a huge base down in the Negev (the desert region comprising southern Israel). We were in the classrooms at the base for a week and then packed up & shipped out for a 3-day field exercise way out in the desert. It was HOT, it was dusty (and we had huge trucks, halftracks, jeeps & such driving all over the place, kicking up LOTS of dust) and I was forced to go 66 hours (by my calculation) without showering. Sanitary facilities consisted of a convenient gully or ravine. I got home (just before 01:00) as dirty as I’ve ever been and as trans-exhausted as I was (I got about 6 hours sleep during this 66-hour period), I went traight into a shower. I had to shower myself twice; one wash just didn’t do the job. I slept for 14 hours afterwards.

    I ate army food that ranged from lousy to mediocre to pretty good (but was almost unifornly bland; I started taking a bottle of Tabasco sauce along with me). I slept in sleeping bags a) on a stetcher under the stars, b) in tents, c) in barracks, d) in underground bunkers, and e) in the back of an open halftrack. I froze (wore 3 pairs of socks), and melted in 100-degree heat. I learned the joys of getting a full aerobic workout simply by walking (thanks to the enormous quantities of thick, viscous mud stuck to my boots). I cultivated my love of Turkish coffee in the IDF (and learned from my Bedouin & Druze comrades the importance of buying the good stuff).

    There’s nothing like being woken up by having an excited 6-year-old and an excited 3-year-old jump on your head, shouting, “Abba’s home from the army!”

    Kashrut was occasionally problematic, especially at the tinier places I was at but one manages. Just before Pesah one year, I was stationed at the (then tiny) roadblock/checkpoint as you go out of Ramot towards Kever Shmuel. During the week before pesah people kept bringing us their chametz. We got cakes, donuts, cookies, you name it. The post was just a few paces outside the Ramot eruv. I called a rav friend of mine (now in Australia) & asked him a few fine points about muktze & such. He called me back later & said that one of his (haredi) rabbonim lived in Ramot & invited me for any meals I could get away from the post for. The last day of Pesah was on a Friday that year; I went to him for Thursda night & Friday night dinners. Lots of locals along the way to his flat asked me if I needed a meal. (I carried my M-16 & ammo, not muktze those, and nothing else.) I did get out for Seder that year. I was in for Purim, Chanukah, Tu B’Shvat & Tisha B’Av but not the chagei Tishrei (thank Hashem).

    I was by the now-closed Adam Bridge in the Jordan Valley once. I asked the rav of the Jordan Valley Brigade (who happened by the base) if, citing Yehoshua 3:16, I could say the bracha “sh’asah lanu ness bamakom hazeh.” He said yes but that I would have to go down do the river to do so (the base was some way off) and since I never got down there I never said the bracha.

    I was discharged in May 2004. After getting my discharge certificate, I walked over to the base shul. I needed to say mincha because it was late enough in the day that if I left right away & drove home, I would get home too late to say mincha. But before I actually said mincha, I walked up to the aron kodesh & took hold of the parochet and kissed it and held it to my face and cried as I thanked Hashem for affording me the privilege of serving in the IDF. I thanked Him that I had never had to aim a weapon at anyone, much less fire one (except on the shooting range). I thanked Him that I never had to put an IV into anyone except in exercises and that I never had to anything more serious than take out splinters, give out paracetamol & refer soldiers to this or that doctor. I thanked Him for keeping me & my family safe & whole. I thanked Him that I was fortunate enough to have never done anything as an Israeli soldier that I should be ashamed of or regret. After thanking Him a good bit & having a good cry doing so, I stepped back & actually said mincha. I said the tefillot for the welfare & well-being of my fellow soldiers, the memorial prayer for the soldiers who fell and the prayer for the State of Israel. I then left the base & drove home.

    Our eldest son (now in 12th grade) will be inducted next October.

    How’s that?

    #1040507
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    wow! that was a beautiful narrative. Thanks for taking the time to write it down, it gave me a wonderful perspective of what you experienced. It also reminded me how much more calm things were back then during war time in contrast with today.

    #1040508
    northwardb
    Member

    Thanks Syag Lchochma!

    Part II?

    I said, “Kashrut was occasionally problematic, especially at the tinier places I was at but one manages.”

    When I was at that (then) tiny roadblock between Ramot & Kever Shmuel, we had a hot fleischig lunch delivered (in foil pains) every day from a nearby Border Police base (the one next to where yesterday’s vehicular terrorist attack started). For the other meals we were on our own. We had a big tent with a few gas burners and big cooler that served as our fridge (for the cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, salami & such). The guys there would cook whatever they liked so I would only eat cold food for the other two daily meals (it was do-it-yourself). I got kind of sick of that & took to making soup in our coffee pot (the only thing anyone ever made in it was coffee so I figured it was OK). IDF charoset comes in little foil packets & was made with lots of pureed dates, Sephardi-style. It was also laced with so much ginger that it could have been used for maror. Mixed with alot of cottage cheese & spread on matzah it made an OK breakfast.

    One year I was seconded (as the Brits say) to the Nahal Haredi. This was, I think, 2001, when it was still in its infancy & one actually had to be haredi to get into it. (Now anyone get into Netzah Yehuda, as the Nahal Haredi battalion is called.) We were at a little base in the Jordan Valley, just north of Jericho. Seeing that great social-religious experiment up-close-and-personal was very cool. You could divide the guys there into two groups. First, there were the Idealists, very dedicated, idealistic young haredi men who really wanted to serve in the IDF, as long as certain conditions were met (more about those in a minute), and some of whom had been ostracized by their families & communities for serving in the IDF. Then there was the Fringe, guys who, for whatever reason, didn’t fit into the haredi yeshiva world here & were on the fringe of haredi society. (More than a few of these guys had ADD/ADHD written all over them.) Some forward-thinking rabbonim figured that something had to be done to help these guys to avoid their drifting into petty crime & such. With the army thy could work & make lives for themselves. So these two disparate groups were tossed together to make the Nahal Haredi. What were the “conditions”? 1) No women at the base. 2) The kitchen was mehadrin, maybe not all Badatz, but everything had to have some mehadrin heksher. 3) Barring security emergencies, they would have time to daven shaharit in the base shul every day. At shaharit in the morning I could tell who was who: The Idealist were davening & the Fringe were goofing off or otherwise just passing the time.

    One of the Fringe guys told me a story that still makes me want to cry. He said that he was in a haredi yeshiva high school somewhere here & one day raised his hand to ask a question. He said that he wasn’t trying to be a smart-aleck & that he really wanted an answer (I believe him). His question was, “Why is it important to believe in G-d?” The rav came over, slapped his face & told him to get out. He never went back.

    It was nice that year riding around on motorized patrol & talking about the parsha or some other frum topic & not the usual bs that reservists talk about.

    That was the year I was in for Tu B’Shvat. On Leil Tu B’Shvat, I was out on mototized patrol. As we were riding around I found myself looking up at a beautiful sliver of a crescent moon. Think what’s wrong with that picture. I *knew* it was Tu B’Shvat & wondered why the moon wasn’t full. I thought that maybe I had nodded off or had taken a knock on my head. Just when I was ready for the Twilight Zone music to kick in, I asked our officer to look at the moon. He said, “Yeah, nice eclipse, isn’t it?” I felt *so* much better.

    My last stint of reserve duty was in February-March 2003. I was a male escort. Really. I was seconded to a company that rode shotgun (actually we had M-16s) on all the schoolbuses & other vehicles that took kids from the (mainly chiloni) yishuvim in the Jordan Valley & along the Allon Road to/from the various regional schools. We would have to get up very early & be driven by our Druze drivers down to the various meeting points to meet buses before they started picking up the kids. One of our Druze drivers was a youg guy doing his first stint of reserve duty. As we drove through this one Arab area, he would always scream curses at the local Palestinian Arabs. I asked him why one day. He turned to me with dead seriousness and said, “You cannot hate them the way we do. We will teach you how to hate them.” I was a bit taken aback. (‘Course when you realize that the Border Police officer who was murdered in yesterday’s attack in Jerusalem was a career Druze officer who left behind a pregnant wife & three young children, you begin to figure out why there is so much bad blood between the Druze & the Palestinians.)

    I did the medic’s course back in 1991 at the big base at Tzrifin, across the highway from Kfar Chabad. We were there for Pesah (but got out for Leil Seder). Our seargent came around before Pesah & asked who among our group ate only matza shmura for the whole of Pesah. These guys ate at a separate table in the dining room. The incredibly nice people at Kfar Chabad *donated* enough matza shmura for the whole of Tzrifin (as they do every year, I think)!!!

    One year I was at a base at Dotan in northwest Shomron. Next to the base firing range was an ancient well that local Bedouin say is *the* well that Yosef was dumped into. We went out one day to have a look. That was ultra-cool.

    The year that I saw all the stars was the year I was in for Tisha B’Av. The CO took me off motorized patrol that day & posted me at the base gate where I could sit in the shade. It was still hot. I asked our Rav back in Yerushalayim & he said that since I was at a base on the Egyptian border, I had to be alert & could drink if I need to to stay alert, which I did. IDF rules say that any soldier who fasts is entitled to a hot meal after the fast. There was precisely one other soldier at the base who was fasting but the cook was cool. He fired up the grill & made us schnitzel & chi..french fries, and then joined us.

    Whenever, at any of the places I was at, we were short for a minyan, it was always the (more traditionally-minded) Sefardi guys who would help us make up the minyan. (Chiloni Ashkenazim couldn’t be bothered.)

    And when I was discharged (before I schlepped out to my base to get the discharge certificate), I received a form letter from our battalion CO informing me of my impending discharge & asking me if I wanted to volunteer to keep doing annual reserve duty even past the legal discharge age. I read the letter & showed it to my wife & said that I would like to be one of those guys that you read about in the paper, who keep doing reserve duty well into their 40’s and 50’s so I could be an example to our boys. I quoted Kennedy’s famous line, “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” My wife didn’t say a word. She just glowered at me. What a look! Phasers from the Enterprise at full power could not have borne into me like that look! I tore up the letter and that, as they say, was that. (Do other wives do that?)

    #1040509
    Aryea
    Participant

    Northwardb, thank you for your service, and your candid insights into the life of a soldier in the IDF. My wife has been terrified of our youngest son joining up. He’s 18 and looking for a college major that will best serve him in a career in the IDF. As I mentioned earlier, we already have a son who’s an officer serving with the Navy Seals. Every day she thinks she’s going to get a knock on the door and a pair of officers standing that our son was killed somewhere in Afghanistan. I’m going to show her your story of your life in the IDF to show her that it’s not all bad.

    #1040510
    springbok007
    Participant

    I did basic training, served in one of the wars, my son, son-in-law, many first cousins, to many to count served their time in all branches of the military. Lesson one about the military, you follow orders from your superior officer without hesitation or question. You do not judge. For others who say otherwise have never served in the military or any of their branches.

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    #1040512
    northwardb
    Member

    Aryea, please feel free to show my posts to your wife; I’m flattered.

    When our boys were little, they used to like to go to the IDF Armoured Corps Museum at Latrun & climb on all the tanks (and even into some of them). I would always daven that that should be as close as they would ever have to come to such things. That our eldest will be in the IDF a year from now and that my wife and I will have to learn to dread knocks at the door weighs on my mind.

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