The IDF, an army to hold in high regard.
While in exile, lacking equal rights and being marginalized, the Jewish people founded a system by which they could exist and take care of themselves. They created an almost self sufficient society that, as much as possible, could take care of its own needs, relying the least on others.
The state of Israel, the homeland of the Jews, is currently in the same position. Since the very day it was founded, 65 years ago, it has constantly been fighting a war for survival and relying solely upon itself and its people for support.
One of the main factors of self reliance is the Israel Defense Forces (IDF); everyone in Israel is a soldier. At the age of 18, after high school, instead of taking off for a year or so and gallivant around the world, or work to make some money, or go to college, young Israeli men and women enlist in the military; they go meet the drill sergeant and start a two to three year active duty “career” for one purpose only, to defend the only Jewish state there is in the world. Their job is to make sure Israel is secure and strong and to look after the Jewish homeland 24/7/365 days a year without taking their eyes off the enemy. As a self sufficient society that must rely on others the least, OUR job, as the Jewish people, no matter where we are, is to do whatever we can to look after these young men and women. For that there is the ‘Friends of the IDF’ organization that concentrates on raising money for the wellbeing of Israel’s soldiers and their families.
Last week, at the Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, the Russian community of Los Angeles, in conjunction with the ‘Friends of the IDF’ (FIDF / (https://www.fidf.org/), held their ‘Saving Lives’ Gala 2014′, in support of and to raise money for the Israel Defense Forces.
The event, emceed by comedian/actor Elon Gold, with opening remarks were delivered by western region board member Haim Saban, honored Ludmila Bess, M.D., an unparalleled leader, with the ‘Si Frumkin Award’.
When you attend an FIDF event you get the chance to meet and hear the stories of some of these men and women of the IDF and you cannot help yourself but be in awe of these brave souls. The stories they tell make perfect movie scripts only that they are taken from real life, from the experience of those who are protecting and defending their homeland. The uniqueness of the IDF is that the enlisted women are able to perform 98% of the work which in most armies are only performed by men.
The IDF is a moral army (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fko9F1EAU2g), an army that values patriotism and the love of the homeland. It tops most of the armies in the world for its innovation, energy savings, creativity and heroism. For instance, one story worth reciting is about the Battle of Bint Jbeil, one of the main battles of the 2006 Lebanon War. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bint_Jbeil/). Such heroism, such sacrifice.
From its inception, Israel has been in an ongoing battle for its survival. King David used a shield in his battles. Today Israel is acting as the shield of every Jew, the shelter for all Jews.
With the rising of anti-Semitism in all crevices of the world and when the fascists are on the march again, a strong Israel with a deterring military capability, not only Jews are protected, but all the nations, facing the same type enemies, are protected as well.
The IDF is not only defending the State of Israel and its Jewish, Christian and Moslem population, it is also defending the free world and democracy. Moreover, Israeli men and women sacrifice their lives so Jews, anywhere in the world, can be protected and free. I stand firmly behind them and so should any member of society.
I dare say, the IDF is the shield of the free world.