Ariela Guigui

My Journey to Protect the Land I Love

Ariela with her Garin Tzabar fellows

From New York to the Israeli Army: My Journey to Protect the Land I Love

Packing my bags to make Aliyah and join the army was surreal. Surreal because it was not crazy, not stressful, no headaches. I was at peace. In my head, I’m thinking ‘wow i should be freaking out right now’, but really I was not at all. I have wanted to join the army for so many years, that now that I finally have the chance to, I had no doubt in my mind that I was on the right path. No stress. Of course, the army can be hard, and protecting the land of Israel is no small thing, but no matter how many people remind me do and tell me I’m crazy, I know I’m on the right way.

I was born in New York and grew up there my whole life. I am coming to Israel fresh out of university in Montreal, but living my whole life away from Israel did not weaken my deep love and connection to her. Growing up with an Israeli family who served, particularly my father who served for 10 years, and growing up in a religious community instilled in me a love for Israel. From learning in school, the yearly big NYC Israeli day parade, watching Israeli tv shows and loving the music, my identity became more and more aligned with Zionism.

The more places I visit and the people I meet, I realize how lucky I was to be an openly proud Jew. I realize not everyone has this privilege, and it fuels me. For years the IDF soldiers have been sacrificing for a safe haven for Am Yisrael. I knew I had to be a part of the effort to ensure our precious Israel will always stand tall and be free.

After high school, I went to study in Israel for a year. I had the best year of my life, and leaving was heartbreaking. Even then, I knew I would be coming back. Now after university, I feel even more equipped to enlist. I am ready to protect Israel alongside my new friends, and family. After all, we are Am Yisrael. We are all family, and I feel blessed to defend and fight for everything that we stand for.

While some may view my decision to join the army as reckless or irrational, to me it is a matter of duty and honor. I am proud to be a part of the Jewish people and I feel a strong sense of responsibility to protect the land of Israel. It’s not just about serving my country, but also about serving the greater good and standing up for what I believe in.

I understand that joining the army is not for everyone, and I respect those who choose different paths. But for me, it is a calling that I cannot ignore. I have always felt drawn to military service, and now is the perfect time for me to make this commitment.

I know that serving in the army will be challenging, and I will be faced with difficult decisions and obstacles. But I am confident in my ability to handle these challenges and overcome them. I have received excellent training and support, and I know that I will have the support of my fellow soldiers and my family.

In the end, I believe that serving in the army is an opportunity to make a difference and contribute to something bigger than myself. It’s a chance to protect the land that I love and to be a part of something greater than myself. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and I am excited to see where this journey takes me.

I hope that my story will inspire others to consider joining the army or serving their country in some other way. It’s not an easy decision, but it’s one that can be incredibly rewarding.



About the Author
Ariela Guigui is a participant in the Garin Tzabar program, which provides a comprehensive support system to young Jewish adults (ages 18-24) who make Aliyah and serve in the IDF as Lone Soldiers.
Related Topics
Related Posts