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.
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!