When Your Stomach Meets Your Toes

Didn’t know that could happen did you? Well…it can, it did (again). Shmulik received a letter today in the mail. It looked important and was expected. I opened it for him…Excuse my translation, but this is the best I can do….

Subject: Invitation to be drafted:
Here is your invitation to the March, 2010 draft, which begins your active service (date)(time). On this day you will go through induction and begin your active service. You are required to bring (list of stuff) and personal equipment for two weeks.

Make sure you come on time. A soldier who does not arrive at this location on this day will stand judgment. (place)(directions).

And there went my stomach. Yup, I’d been so sure it wouldn’t happen this time. I have no excuse. I’ve been through this. I know this path. My son will be a soldier in the army of Israel – this time it will be the Kfir Division. Want to lose the rest of your stomach? Here’s what the IDF site says about Kfir:

The Kfir Brigade, under the command of the Plada Formation in the Central Command, is the largest brigade in the Israel Defense Forces. The unit was officially formed in February 2005 out of a collection of battalions – Nachshon, Shimshon, Haruv, Duchifat, Lavi, and Netzah Yehuda – into a full brigade. The Brigade specializes in anti-terror fighting and combats in urban areas, its soldiers are willing to volunteer to stand at the forefront of a determined fight against terrorism. The brigade’s battalions are deployed in Palestinian towns stretching from Hebron in the south to Tulkarem in the north, sharing the burden of intense fighting. The brigade carries out challenging, complex operations demanding the soldiers demonstrate a level of expertise, steadfastness, initiative, and determination on a daily basis.

Now this sounds all well and good until it’s your son. The brigade specializes in anti-terror fighting and combats (yes, I’d like to volunteer to fix their English) in urban areas…I don’t want my son doing this. I know someone has to, but I was thinking along the lines of his being a life guard, a school crossing, or maybe a ski instructor. Okay, so he doesn’t know how to ski, but he could learn.

its soldiers are willing to volunteer to stand at the forefront of a determined fight against terrorism. Well, see, he might be willing, but really, I’m not. I don’t want him standing at the forefront. I mean, it isn’t like he stood at the forefront at school…he was okay, good even, but not the forefront. Besides, I’m an artillery mother – we support the troops…kilometers behind he line…Yes, I’m all for a determined fight against terrorism but I wasn’t really thinking of putting my baby there. I know he isn’t a baby; I know someone has to be there; I know he will be there and so, I’ve decided to act like a baby here. And I demand my 30 seconds of panic before I get back to being mature.

The brigade’s battalions are deployed in Palestinian towns. I’ve been through this…I don’t like when they are deployed in Palestinian towns…can’t we convince the Palestinians to just stop these rockets and shooting attacks…please? Really, very little good happens to Israeli soldiers in Palestinian town…given their current leadership and culture of violence and death-worship, I’m not sure anything good for Palestinians happens in Palestinians towns…no, really – he could skip this line, as far as I am concerned.

Never mind. I’ll go back and read my blog from the beginning. I’ll learn to take it one day at a time. I’ll be grateful for this day and for the one that comes after. I’ll learn again how to trust the army to train him correctly. Artillery had its moments…I just have to trust that I can handle Kfir’s moments too.

One more thing – a Kfir is a lion cub and the lion is a symbol of Judah. Judah was the fourth son of our forefather Jacob. When Jacob lay dying, he blessed Judah with the following prayer,

You, O Judah, your brothers shall praise;

Your hand shall be on the nape of your foes;
Your father’s sons shall bow low to you.

Judah is a lion’s whelp;
On prey, my son, have you grown.
He crouches, lies down like a lion,
Like the king of beasts — who dare rouse him?
The scepter shall not depart from Judah,

Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet;
So that tribute shall come to him
nd the homage of peoples be his.

This is the blessing that Judah received from his father. It speaks of strength and vigilance, of the power of leadership and the tribute he will receive. Kfir it will be – my son who has always loved animals…will join the young lions who defend this land.

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