A Religious Soldier's Life
Two stories that may shock you.
As previously discussed, my eldest daughter greatly surprised my wife and I by following her year in Midrasha (seminary) with enlisting in the IDF and is now in charge of teaching soldiers that are new immigrants. Here are two stories that may shock or surprise you.
The first is that when she comes home for Shabbos, she travels by train from her base up north, ending up at the train station in Beit Shemesh. From there, she would normally take a bus to our home in Ramat Beit Shemesh Alef. However, I have to drive to pick her up. Can you guess why?
The answer is that the bus travels through the Ramat Beit Shemesh Bet neighborhood, which is home to charedi extremist zealots. As a soldier in uniform (nothing to do with being a girl), my daughter would be at risk of attack, which has happened on previous occasions.
Here’s another story. This morning, my daughter was on an army excursion. The charedi gentleman in the picture below saw her and realized that she is religious (because she wears a skirt). He went up to her and said, “Kol hakavod to you on this Kiddush Hashem, and thank you very much, this is really not something to be taken for granted.”
Now, what do these stories show?
They do not show that you cannot generalize. They show that generalizations, as discussed in a previous post, must be acknowledged to be generalizations and not absolute statements. The vast majority of charedim would neither attack soldiers nor praise religious female soldiers. But neither would they say a prayer in shul for their safety, let alone want their children to enlist. Our opinions about different sectors of society must be based on broad realities.
(Bonus points if you can figure out why the tank in the picture above has a “sorry!” sign hanging from it!)
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