My Strength-words from a soldier

I have felt weakness. I have felt my supposedly mighty muscles shudder, felt my devastatingly powerful weapon shake in my hands, felt my heart hammer against my armor, felt my soul and mind search for some way to avoid pain and the nightmares that were becoming real.

I felt strength. I would have been lost, but for the words of my Rebbe. "Ein od Milvado" There is no one but Him. The mere utterance strengthened limbs, and a surge of faith and hope carried me through the invasion, through the detonations and whistling of ricocheting rounds and falling bombs. For I knew, for once KNEW and understood absolutely that I was in the hands of the greatest general on earth....

My strength lay in the thousands of people who prayed for me, who prayed for the wellbeing of the army, who cried for the return of the fragile and precious Jewish youth who fought like lions where men twice there age would have fled. You are the reason we returned. You are the reason I am alive. You, the people who pray and cry and feel you are not the front lines, are truly the army of Hashem. The IDF, as people should see, is merely the physical arm of what your prayers accomplish. You are the ones in the battle. We are the holding action, delaying the physical evil while you battle to clear the path for Moshiach. Never again will I feel a yeshiva student who learns all day is not brave for not being with us on this field. Because I watched the words and letters that he learned and prayed march ahead of us, thousands deep, and millions strong, absorbing the bullets and metal meant for me. I thank you, humbly, warriors of my heart and faith. You let me come home to my wife....

I have seen this people, my people, at its best and at its worst. I can see why Redemption will come soon. As a nation, we drew together. Disunity, differences in Kippot or sects fell away, and everyone reached out to help as best they could. No one said, "I have no part" or "This isn't my war". May Hashem see the greatness of His holy, beautiful people, and allow me to sing that old song to my child, with absolute truth and great joy: "I promise, my little one, that this is the last war."

Joshua Eastman made aliyah from Baltimore in 2005. He met his wife, Chana, on a trip back to Baltimore; and the two of them live in Givat Ze'ev. Joshua is currently a full-time soldier in the Golani Brigade of the Israel Defense Forces. When he can get near a computer, he blogs about his life in Israel at "Through Josh-Colored Glasses,"

Josh's mom writes from

1 comment:

rutimizrachi said...

A most humble and appreciative thank you, Rena. May we share much good news!