25 January 2009

What it's all about

تنسيق-الكليات-لعام سكس نيك كس

I spent sabbath at home thinking about the Gaza war. Meeting with my neighbors who had been there. Telling Mrs. DoubleTapper and our children about the acts of heroism and bravery that I had witnessed.

Being a civilian soldier, a reserve officer in the IDF is a great honor and an awesome responsibility. It's not always easy to put thoughts into words. So when I saw this poem I knew that I would never be able to say it better.

Heading into Gaza

A slow line enters Gaza.
The brigade commander has a factory.
The regiment commander is an engineer.
The company commander is a science teacher.
The platoon commander is in the standing army.
The company sergeant sells holy books.
The sergeant is something of a carpenter.
The squad commander is presently unemployed.
The private is a retiree.

But they’re all excellent soldiers
Marching in a slow line, in the tranquil night.
Entering enemy territory
Without fear.
To fight for their nation
Like their parents did for them.

The brigade commander has a back-ache.
The regiment commander has high cholesterol.
The company commander has indigestion.
The platoon commander just doesn’t look good.
The company sergeant has eye problems.
The sergeant has insomnia.
The squad commander has the itchies.
The private has warts on his foot.

But they’re all excellent soldiers.
Sneaking through the gloom in a slow line.
Entering enemy territory.
Forgetting that they are spoiled and sensitive.
Bombarded each day with drops, creams and tablets.
Suddenly they’re healthy.

The same people who fear medical shots and dentists.
Are suddenly brave.
They know longer fear anything.
They just do what they have to.
For the sake of the Jewish People.
Because what you’ve got to do, you’ve got to do.

They’re no longer thinking about themselves.
But about the national mission.
Because we’ve shown more than enough restraint.
And this is just round one.

The brigade commander is a Leftist who opposes settlements.
The regiment commander is a settler who favors settlements.
The company commander votes for a centrist party.
The platoon commander is national religious –
Torn between two and a half parties.
The company sergeant is very Ultra-orthodox.
The sergeant is a socialist.
The squad commander has voted for everyone.
The private can never decide.

But they’re all excellent soldiers.
Marching in silence, in the dark of night.
Under the smiling moon.
With tense fortitude.

Those same people
Who on politics and religion
Can never agree on a single thing
Suddenly become brothers
Comrade de Guerre, war buddies.
Devoted to each other
With all their heart.

Suddenly all agree
That the best thing we have
Is our country
And our Defense Forces.
And they’re all ready
To smite the enemy hard
Once and for all
To leave us in peace.

Written by Rabbi Shlomo Aviner
Put to music and video



the sabra said...

music video- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtD7vyi5yas&eurl=http://altishalioti.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Sniff... Wiping away a tear after reading that poem.. Thanks for sharing that, DT. Glad you're back and OK.

Anonymous said...

Great poem but I'm just glad to see that you're home safely.

Anonymous said...


I'm American, I'm Catholic, I'm sitting here in Texas, but God Bless You. We have no idea what your people go through (but considering what Mexico is becoming, we might soon!)

Never let your guard down! What Rabbi Aviner penned goes back to the beginning of time. It's always been like that. Impressive.


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