My grandson’s graduation from basic training in the IDF is a small blip in the overall scheme of things, but for me personally it represents the culmination of a dream, and if you will it….you know the rest. When I once suggested to my daughter, when she was young and impressionable that at some point one of our generations must pluck up the courage to make aliyah, to go the whole way, I was of course hoping that she would take the hint. But, I didn’t want to put pressure on her, I let her make her own decision. After a year spent in Israel she made up her mind to make aliyah and then she got married to a like-minded fellow, and here we are. It was with a sense of fulfillment that I saw my grandson marching in line and receiving his colored beret.
We are through with fighting other people’s wars. Yes, WWII was unfortunately our war, and millions of Jews died both fighting and passively. But, everyone of those recruits last night knows why they are there, there is no question in their minds, it is clear. Only yesterday an Israeli couple were murdered in Brussels while doing nothing more innocuous that visiting the Jewish museum there. They won’t let us live, so we know we have to defend ourselves, that is the evident reason why my grandson willingly dons the uniform and marches, and if called upon will fight.
The Israeli army is not the smartest marching formation in the world, but they certainly get the job done, and as far as advanced electronic measures are concerned they are far ahead of most armies. We have quality rather than quantity, and in the modern world it’s quality that counts. I pray my grandson survives his stint of national service without danger or injury, but I go to bed each night knowing that he and his fellows are out there looking after our security and safety.