Monday, March 7, 2016

Swearing In

Just over a week ago, David had his swearing-in ceremony at the Kotel, the Western Wall. It's a well orchestrated event, and an emotional one as well. Before thousands of family and tourists and visitors, they boys swear or affirm (I'll explain that one in a minute) to defend and protect the land and the people of Israel. They are given a gun and a Bible. It's an amazing combination, if you think about it.

After they take the oath or make the promise...each unit calls out "I swear"...except, Jews don't swear lest they be forced to break this oath made before God and so the religious units like David's doesn't yell out "I swear" as the others do. Instead, they call out, "I affirm" - it's subtle, but it makes you smile on so many fronts. First, because it means that my son is honoring the fine points of the heritage he has been given and second, it means the army respects our heritage enough to allow them to declare their willingness to serve as they wish. No boy is forced to swear; none are forced to affirm.

The pictures were amazing...David looked amazing. I took so many pictures. Just zoomed in and grabbed them...

My son...a soldier in the army of Israel.

He came home this weekend with his gun for the first time. It's a nasty looking thing. Wait, I'm not supposed to call it a gun. I'm supposed to say rifle. He came home with his rifle.

My baby...who is taller than me.

He took apart his gun rifle and locked it as required. Saturday night, he went to the mall, and took the gun with him. The mall where just a week ago, Tzvika Cohen was attacked by an Arab terrorist.

It is a strange thing to see your son with a find yourself wanting to say something to it, though it has no life of its own, no soul. Protect my baby. Watch over him.
Always be near in case he will need you. Shoot straight, shoot true. Don't ever fail him...and then go away, away from his life. I don't want you to be a part of his life forever.

And yet, there is a good chance that David will grow to be more comfortable with a gun, as Elie has. And that too, I accept but do not want.

For now, as always, we will take it day by day and month by month. He has just about finished basic training...soon he moves on to advanced training.

And after that, for the next period, my life will be consumed with wondering where he is, what he is doing.

I've heard from so many people who are so sure that war is coming again. Not that there are concrete signs - it's just we had a war a year and a half ago, and then two years before that, and four years before that, and two years before that...this summer will be two years since the last war.

But thoughts of what war in the summer could mean are more than I can handle and so for now I'll remember the smile on David's face. He enjoyed the ceremony. He was glad that it took place at the Western Wall. It is a milestone in his service. He is halfway through training.

My son...the first of my children born in Israel. Please God, watch over him. Protect him. Keep him safe...

No comments:

Copyright Statement

Everything on this site is protected and copyrighted according to Israeli and international laws. Violators WILL be prosecuted.

For permission to use pictures or text from this site, please write to: