Most of my friends and relatives are mothers of soldiers, and the vast majority are mothers of Hesder students that will become soldiers.
Hesder Yeshiva is an institution in which national religious teenagers learn after high school. Its five year program combines advanced Torah learning with service in the Israel Defense Forces. Today, my friend Judy (who is also the ticket chairperson of my newest show DAMES of the DANCE 3 – The 7 DAYS of CREATION) told me that her son Yoni is going into the Army on Sunday, IY"H.
She'll be bringing him to Tel Aviv to the Bakum (the induction center) on Sunday morning along with hundreds of other mothers.
I told her to bring cookies. She said she doesn't think she'll be handing out cookies, because she'll be crying too much.
I remember when my two of my sons went into the Army. That was a long time ago. They've long since finished their regular service and have become commanders and achieved all kinds of reserve duty ranks that I can't even translate.
But the scene was the same then as it will be on Sunday morning. The boys were there with their backpacks, excited, happy to meet their friends who were entering the Army on the same day. In fact, the boys were dancing – dancing and singing. They feel so "shalem" (whole) with their choice to enter the IDF and defend their country that they can't help dancing.
So they dance, while their fathers snap photos and their mothers gently sob.
IsraelNationalNews.com reported that there are more Hesder boys entering the Army now than ever before, and they're entering combat units and special units – places they feel they can serve their country best.
At a time when leftwing teenagers and organizations like New Profile are teaching secular Jews how to act to prove they are unfit psychologically to serve in the armed forces, Hesder soldiers and religious officers are on the rise. Their motivation is high. They're the best soldiers in Israel today, and they'll protect our country with G-d's help, literally.
War and Peace Never Change
So, my friend will be crying with a nervous pride on Sunday morning. Jewish mothers have been doing that for thousands of years. Two of my other friends Toby Klein Greenwald and Yael Valier are writing a new show for the Raise Your Spirits Summer Stock Company, which I was privileged to found nine years ago.
In the new show, Judge – The Story of Devorah, the prophetess and the women of the time sing a song of prayer for the troops, a song of hope that this (millennia ago) would be the last war. Unfortunately, it wasn't the last war then. War has been a constant fixture in our Jewish homeland, but as our sons enter the Israel Defense Forces we still pray for peace, for peace, for peace.
May Hashem watch over all our soldiers and bring them home safely into the arms of their mothers, who, IY"H, will be crying from joy and thankfulness.