Tamar Yonah is one of Israel's most popular English-speaking radio show hosts. She made Aliyah from Southern California and after serving in the Israeli army began a prolific career in radio, including production, news and program development. She was the original creator and producer of 'The Aliyah Show' and still works whenever she can in that field. Tamar is a political activist, wife and mother residing in Judea and Samaria and currently hosts the top-rated shows of The Weekend Edition & The Tamar Yonah Show. Her award winning blog covers current events, religion, politics and anything else that's on her mind.
A Holy War? The BBC (in the videos below) calls it 'G-d's wars' and put a stamp on that with an Israeli secular officer comparing it to a 'Holy War'. Ok, but the Jews are not fighting a 'Jihad' like the Arabs. To the BBC and their slanted reporting, let it be known that the Gaza war in December 2008 was a defensive war. Israel cannot sit quietly when it's citizens are being bombarded with deadly and bloody rocket and terror attacks from the Palestinian Authority. No sane country would stand it, and yes, that means Britain too -hypocrites! Britain had the gall to send their military half way around the world to kill to keep it's empirical hold on the Falkland Islands, but turns around and blames Israel for fighting terror in her own backyard. Chutzpah!
So it is with great glee and satisfaction, that I can actually cheer when I saw this BBC report on (how worried they are) that Israel's army is becoming more religious. What they showed as worrisome, I saw as wonderful! Yes, the Israeli army is seeing more religious soldiers and less and less secular soldiers serving. Read this brief article of a rabbi's experience with IDF soldiers going off to war in Gaza last December. Soldiers were clamoring for religious articles to take with them into battle. And this demand will only be growing.
Approximately half of all officers in the IDF are religious. "They are becoming the IDF's backbone" says Ben Caspit, the writer of the news story in the link above. "Their presence in the army is several times larger than it is in the general population." Now, that may be because secular Israelis are becoming post zionists, and not as patriotic, and religious soldiers are more idealistic and want to protect their nation. The rise in religious inductees can also be due to the fact that religious families usually have more children, and secular families usually choose to have less. It can also be because we are seeing today, the largest 'Chozrim B'Tshuva' (Returnees to the Faith) movement in history. Many secular Jews have found the world and western culture which they were drawn to, bankrupt and are therefore wanting more spirituality in their lives.
In any case, enjoy the BBC documentary (part 1 & 2). Viewing their report should bring you much joy and optimism. The story of the soldiers gathering around to blow the Shofar before going into battle made me smile, and the urgent requests of the soldiers, observant and not-yet observant asking for Tehillim (Psalms) and Tzitzit, warmed my heart. Yes, we Jews should only be fighting a 'holy', 'just' and 'moral' war. It's a Holy War to stop the Arab's Evil Jihad. The West, and yes, the Brits in the BBC - can thank us later.
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oiZ8I35Mtg&feature=related part 1