When the Jews were exiled from Jerusalem, they were marginalized and they lost most of their rights. At this time, they created a new system so they could maintain their existence. They decided that they would try to become as self-sufficient as possible, take care of their own needs and not rely on others.
The current state of Israel has a similar system. Surrounded by enemies since it was founded in 1948, it has needed to rely on itself a lot. Although the state has friends, some of them are fair weather friends and they are not nearby. The state relies on its own people a lot, as it is in a war for its own survival.
One of the main ways it relies on its own people is seen in its defense force, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces). Almost all Israelis, once they reach the age of 18, after completing high school, they enlist in Israel’s military. In other countries, young men and women, upon reaching the age of 18, often take a year off from school and travel, but Israelis learn how to defend their state. This is a two to three year active duty career that trains them for the possibility that they will be needed to defend themselves at a future time.
With enemies all around, they need to always keep their eyes on those surrounding them, because although there are peaceful people, many are not. The job of securing the strength of the state of Israel, and the Jewish homeland is continuous, 24 hours per day, seven days each week, 365 days per year, never ending.
This self-reliance leans on others as little as possible, but sometimes these young people serving their country do need support. That support comes from a special organization called the ‘Friends of the IDF,’ which raises money for the wellbeing of Israel’s soldiers and their families.
Last week, at the Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, the Russian community of Los Angeles, together with the ‘Friends of the IDF’ (FIDF / (www.fidf.org/), held an event called “Saving Lives Gala 2014,” to raise money in support of the Israel Defense Forces.
The event was emceed by comedian and actor Elon Gold. Opening remarks were delivered by the organization’s western region board member, Haim Saban. Ludmila Bess, M.D., an unparalleled leader, was honored with the “Si Frumkin Award.”
FIDF events allow you to meet some of the men and women of the IDF. You can also hear their stories, and you cannot help but be in awe of these brave souls. Their stories often make perfect movie scripts, taken from real life, from the experience of those who are protecting and defending their homeland. The IDF is unique in that the enlisted women are able to perform 98% of the work, which in most armies is only performed by men.
The IDF is a moral army (see the video below), an army that values patriotism and love of the homeland. The IDF tops most of the armies in the world for innovation, energy savings, creativity and heroism.
For instance, one very intersting story involves the Battle of Bint Jbeil, one of the main battles of the 2006 Lebanon War. This is a story of heroism, and amazing sacrifice.
From its inception, Israel has been in an ongoing battle for its survival. Back in history, King David used a shield in his battles on behalf of the state. Today Israel acts as the shield of every Jew, the shelter for all Jews.
With the rising of anti-Semitism in all crevices of the world and when the fascists are on the march again, a strong Israel with a deterring military capability, not only Jews are protected, but all the nations, facing the same type enemies, are protected as well.
The IDF is not only defending the State of Israel and its Jewish, Christian and Moslem population, it is also defending the free world and democracy. Moreover, Israeli men and women sacrifice their lives so Jews, anywhere in the world, can be protected and free. I stand firmly behind them and so should any member of society.
The IDF is the shield of the free world.