Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Very Personal War

People have told me that war in Israel is a family matter. And they're really right. In Michigan, whenever a soldier from Michigan died in Iraq, you heard about it. Maybe they mentioned his or her name, maybe not, but never much more than that.
When four IDF soldiers died in Gaza last week, the radio stations carried not only their names, but extensive interviews with their families. I learned about what kind of people they were. One a young Druze from a villiage near Haifa, another a graduate of yeshiva who truly believed in the holiness and sanctity and power of the Jewish nation. His brother said on the radio (Reshet Bet) on the day that he died, that even if he had known that he would be killed the next day, he would have enlisted again to fight. Our soldiers aren't just unknown names and numbers. They're people, mostly young men, with lives and hopes and dreams. They're the sons of colleagues from Michigan who are teaching in Akiva, and the child of a rav of mine from Bar Ilan University. It's all very personal.
Which brings me to an email that I received at work today and an article in the Jerusalem Post online which said, "Officer critically hurt in Gaza blast." Sad. Worrisome. But not personal. But then I noticed an email that was sent to all the employees at Orot.

אנא אמרו תהילים לרפואת אהרן יהושע בן חיה שושנה
קצין צה"ל שנפצע קשה אתמול
אהרן הוא הבן של הרב קרוב מקרני שומרון שהתחתן ביום ד' האחרון
ובשבת חתן בבקר גוייס למלחמה

Please recite Tehillim for the complete recovery of Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana, an IDF officer who was critically wounded yesterday. Aharon is the son of Rav Karov from Karnei Shomron who just got married last Wednesday, and was called up on the morning of his Shabbat Chatan.

I found out later that while they called him up during his Aufruf, they let him go home for his wedding last Thursday, and then called him up again during Sheva Brachot. And today he's fighting for his life.
It's not an officer. It's a rav's son. A new wife's husband. A jewel of Israel. Let us pray for the refuah sheleimah of Aharon Yehoshua ben Chayah Shoshanah.