Tuvia Book
Author, educator, Tour-Guide, artist

Unity among Diversity: Why the IDF will Prevail

Soldiers in my IDF unit. Photo (c) Tuvia Book, 2023
Soldiers in my IDF unit. Photo (c) Tuvia Book, 2023

There is a beautiful song by Naomi Shemer entitled, Anashim Tovim (“Good people”).  The chorus declares:

Good people in the middle of the journey,
Very good people.
Good people know the way,
And we can continue walking with them.

This is an extremely apt description of the soldiers in my IDF unit by Gaza. It is a reserve medical unit of composed of doctors, paramedics, combat medics and combat troops. Our mission is to provide rapid medical response, stabalization, and evacuation for our soldiers. Everyone has come here voluntarily from all over Israel and indeed, all over the globe. They are men and women who represent the entire spectrum of society, religious, and political beliefs. United by one desire to destroy the evil forces who sowed terror and death upon Israel on the black Saturday of October 7.

Soldiers in my IDF unit. Photo (c) Tuvia Book, 2023

In our unit we have a Lone Soldier combat medic who came from Argentina to fight the just fight. Another medic abandoned his post-army trip to India after only two weeks to return. One of our paramedics has three (of his six) children serving in the IDF. Additionally, he donated a kidney and was aged out of the reserves. A doctor flew in from London, where he was in the middle of a two-year subspecialty training program and left a sick wife and four little children. Everyone here has a story, from students who abandoned their studies both here and abroad, to parents who barely see their children and spouses. To professionals who have frozen their careers for the duration of the war.

We all know that we do not have another land, and this is a war which was imposed on us (there was a ceasefire in place until October 6), and we have no choice but to fight until victory. We understand that, as Shakespeare (Julius Ceasar, 4:3) wrote,

There is a tide in the affairs of men
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune.


Meaning that there are times in history where you must step up to the plate to become, in the words of Gandhi, “the change you want to see.” Carpe Diem! Once we put on the IDF uniform we are here for one purpose, and one purpose alone; to defend our homeland from the scourge of Hamas. We are all focused on what we have in common, and not what divides us.

Unfortunately, it took a war for us to find this coalescent unity. Let’s hope it continues after our victory. Another Naomi Shemer song sums up the national unity and selfless spirit we are now experiencing. The song is entitled Heheachzut haNachal b’Sinai, and it refers to both our citizens and soldiers, “who came to give and not to take.” This is why the IDF, the “people’s army,” will prevail, and together we will be victorious!

The author on active duty by Gaza. Photo (c) T. Book, 2023
About the Author
Dr. Tuvia Book was born in London and raised in both the UK and South Africa. After making Aliya at the age of 17 and studying in Yeshiva he volunteered for the IDF, where he served in an elite combat unit. Upon his discharge he completed his BA at Bar-Ilan University, as well as certification in graphic design. He then served as the Information Officer at the Israeli Consulate of Philadelphia, while earning a graduate degree in Jewish Studies. Upon his return to Israel, Dr. Book graduated from a course of study with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, and is a licensed tour guide. Tuvia has been working in the field of Jewish Education, both formal and informal, for many years. He has guided and taught Jewish students and educators from around the English-speaking world for some of Israel’s premier educational institutions and programs. Tuvia has been guiding groups for Birthright Israel since its inception and, in addition, has lectured throughout North America, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Tuvia served as a Shaliach (emissary) for the Jewish Agency for Israel as the Director of Israel and Zionist Education at the Board of Jewish Education of Greater New York (Jewish Education Project). He was a lecturer/educational guide at the Alexander Muss Institute for Israel Education (AMIIE) in Israel for a decade. Tuvia has lectured at both Bar Ilan University and Hebrew University. He was a Senior Editor and Teaching Fellow at the Tikvah Fund. He is a research associate at the Hudson Institute. Tuvia is the author and illustrator the internationally acclaimed Israel education curriculum; "For the Sake of Zion; A Curriculum of Israel Studies" (Fifth edition, Koren 2017), and "Moral Dilemmas of the Modern Israeli Soldier" (Rama, 2011) and has a doctorate in Israel Education. His latest book, "Jewish Journeys, The Second Temple Period to the Bar Kokhba Revolt – 536 BCE-136 CE," was published by Koren this year. To order:
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