What a beautiful essay.
"Seventy years ago, Jews were being gassed at Auschwitz and worked to
death at Majdanek. Now, they put on the IDF uniform and proudly bear
arms, fighting back against those who seek our destruction."
"These garments, which represented the revolution in Jewish existence
that had taken place when we regained our sovereignty in 1948, the ones
that only a moment ago had caused me to question some of my major life
decisions, began to take on a new importance."
"The IDF uniform, such as the one I held in my hand, had restored our
national pride and reinvigorated our collective sense of destiny. It
symbolized the return of the Jewish people to the world stage, and the
end of our dependence on the mercy of others, a tangible precursor to
the Messianic era. "
This is also incredible:
"...there is an incident involving the late Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik,
head of the RIETS rabbinical school at New York’s Yeshiva University.
Known as “the Rav,” he was a pivotal figure in American Orthodoxy."
"Once he was visited by a student who served in the IDF and whose job
was cleaning and maintaining the tanks. Often his uniform would get
dirty and he wanted to know if he needed to change his clothing before
reciting the afternoon Minha prayer. The student explained that while
it would be possible for him to do so, it would be difficult and very
"Astonished, the Rav looked at the student and said, “Why would you need
to change? You are wearing bigdei kodesh, holy clothes.”
I could not agree more.