In the context of Holocaust remembrance, IDF soldiers reflect on why they fight in the Israeli army as they sit alongside their grandparents and great-grandparents who survived the Holocaust.
During the Holocaust Ze’ev Tibi Ram lost his whole family. He survived Auschwitz, a labour camp, and Bergen-Belsen. After being separated from his mother and eventually finding her at the end of the war, she disappeared and Tibi never saw her again. His brother survived until the end of the war, but died shortly after. Now, Tibi gives lectures to soldiers about the holocaust and his extensive military experience. He is also the proud grandfather of an IDF soldier.
Cpl. N. prays five times a day and wears a hijab when she is on leave from the Lions of the Jordan Valley infantry battalion • She has been threatened by villagers and by Arab soldiers, but she still dreams of a military career and stronger for Arabs and Jews in Israel.
Both lone soldiers took part in Seders and the traditional customs while on base. The soldiers said their unit has become their family.
These were the words of Harel Mizrahi, a lone soldier from Seattle, Washington, who is serving in the Nahal Infantry Brigade and remained in service over the first part of the holiday. This is his first Jewish holiday on base away from his family since drafting into the army.
According to the military, the IDF purchased some 12,000 kg. of various kinds of kosher flour for Passover, 2,400 kg. of matza flour, 13,000 kg. of fish, 50,000 kg. of beef, 45,000 kg. of turkey, and 130,000 kg. of chicken.
Another 65,000 kg. of matzah, 230,000 kosher-for-Passover rolls, and 13,000 charoset units have been purchased, and troops will receive 4,800 food items they chose for the holiday.
The military also purchased about 3,500 kg. of dried fruits, 60,000 mousse cakes and 17,500 kg. of cakes and cookies which will be delivered to bases across the country for dessert.
Troops will be able raise a glass for the holiday with 17,000 liters of grape juice and 21,000 bottles of soda that will be distributed to the bases.
Jay Schultz, founder of Tel Aviv Internationals, headed the initiative to establish “Yom HaAliyah” (Aliyah Day) to celebrate all of the immigrants to Israel who have built, and continue to build, the Jewish State. Of course, this includes many young immigrants who choose to serve in the IDF as lone soldiers.