As a follow up to the visit of Sgt. (res.) Nadav Weinberg and his talks about ethics training in the IDF, this letter posted on an Israeli blog on November 16th and forwarded by a reader seems particularly timely:
The letter below was sent to us by our son Aron who is doing IDF reserve duty on the Egyptian border. I would humbly comment that it would be a Kiddush Hashem for the world to see this. Please feel free to pass it on to whomever you please, including to the editors of newspapers.
Thank you, Marilyn & Josh Adler
My name is Aron Adler.
I am 25 years old, was born in Brooklyn NY, and raised in Efrat, Israel. Though very busy, I don’t view my life as unusual. Most of the time, I am just another Israeli citizen. During the day I work as a paramedic in Magen David Adom, Israel’s national EMS service. At night, I’m in my first year of law school. I got married this October and am starting a new chapter of life together with my wonderful wife Shulamit.
15-20 days out of every year, I’m called up to the Israeli army to do my reserve duty. I serve as a paramedic in an IDF paratrooper unit. My squad is made up of others like me; people living normal lives who step up to serve whenever responsibility calls. The oldest in my squad is 58, a father of four girls and grandfather of two; there are two bankers, one engineer, a holistic healer, and my 24 year old commander who is still trying to figure out what to do with his life. Most of the year we are just normal people living our lives, but for 15-20 days each year we are soldiers on the front lines preparing for a war that we hope we never have to fight.
This year, our reserve unit was stationed on the border between Israel, Egypt and the Gaza Strip in an area called “Kerem Shalom.” Above and beyond the “typical” things for which we train – war, terrorism, border infiltration, etc., – this year we were confronted by a new challenge. Several years ago, a trend started of African refugees crossing the Egyptian border from Sinai into Israel to seek asylum from the atrocities in Darfur….