Zev Shandalov

A Letter to All in the IDF

This letter to all of you has been rolling around in my head for days. On the one hand, I knew exactly what I wanted to sayת and on the other hand, it seemed too murky in my head.

But, at this moment, and finally with some clarity, I wish to address every single man and woman, be they Jew, Christian, Moslem or Druze who is serving in the IDF. I address you if you are in combat in Gaza or “just” sitting behind a desk in an office in Haifa. If you are serving your country at this critical point in its history, I am writing to you.

All of what I want to say can be boiled down into two words: THANK YOU. From the bottom of my heart I want to thank you all for everything that you are doing to keep our country and its people safe. Thank you for putting your life on the line to save the lives of countless people. Thank you for being willing to take orders from your superiors and carry them out to the best of your ability. Thank you for doing what so many who are not able to serve wish they could be doing–wearing the uniform of the IDF and making us all proud.

I am well aware of the vilification you and your fellow soldiers receive in the world media and the various names you have been called. In spite of the names you have been called, I only think of one: HERO. You are ALL our heroes. You are the heroes of the Jewish People and the Jewish State. You are what is good about this country.

You are what gives us the pride to walk around knowing that we have the most moral army in the world; the army of the People whom G-d watches over at all times.

“אלה ברכב ואלה בסוסים ואנחנו בשם ה’ אלוקינו נזכיר”

About the Author
After living in Chicago for 50 years, the last 10 of which Zev Shandalov served as a shul Rav and teacher in local Orthodox schools, his family made Aliya to Maale Adumim in July 2009. Shandalov currently works as a teacher, mostly interacting with individual students.