New Hesder recruits
New Hesder recruitsHesder Yeshiva Center

Some uplifting facts for these days:

The upcoming recruitment cycle, Nisan 5784 (March 2024), is going to be the largest Yeshiva student recruitment cycle in the history of the State of Israel! Around 1,000 fighters from the Hesder yeshivot; 300 combat supporters; another 300 from Zionist yeshivot gevohot (post high-school yeshivot); and hundreds more from religious pre-military preparatory schools.

These wonderful soldiers – who unfortunately also lead the number of fallen in the current war– are a new breed of fighters that the Jewish people has not seen in two thousand years (in fact, not so new, the IDF's ground forces have long had a profile of the religious and traditional recruits).

Here is a short and instructive story from the past month: students who returned from fighting in Gaza gathered at the Ma'ale Adumim Yeshivat Hesder for a summing-up talk. Their Rabbi asked that everyone choose a verse or a rabbinic saying that reflects their feelings.

One of them chose the sentence "there is no joy like the resolution of doubts" (Zevachim 90a). Asked why he chose it, he replied: "During the weeks of fighting in Khan Yunis, we were constantly fighting day and night with occasional breaks, without outside communication, and I was always wondering if I was on the right page within the framework of the Daf Yomi. Now that we have returned from the fighting, it has become clear to me that I was indeed on the right page, and I feel even more strongly the words of our sages that there is no joy like the resolution of doubts."

Got it? These are our fighter! And that's one reason – among thousands of others – that we are going to win!


Every time a fighter falls, I try to find out a little about him and understand where the power came from; I am overwhelmed each time. In the case of Amishar ben David Hy”d, I can no longer contain the phenomenon: he was a Torah scholar; was an incredible educator; an exemplary father; a pioneer and a settler; commander of the commando brigade; and the head of the community's charitable fund; a MDA volunteer and a kidney donor. As the Israeli song goes, "what else will you ask of us, O homeland?"

(In Hebrew: מה עוד תבקשי מאיתנו מכורה, ואין ואין עדיין)

Where do these people come from? From a great perception ov Torah, which we call "the Torah of the Land of Israel" as did Rabbi Kook.

A growing list of Dror Weinbergs, Roi Kleins, Eliraz Peretzs, Emanuel Morenos, Noam Razs, Yossi Hershkovitzs and many more. In every war, extraordinary heroes fall, and then, inspired by them, an even more remarkable generation of fighters steps into their shoes.

We know that this breed of superheroes is still relatively small; on the one hand, there are those who see the State of Israel only as a place for getting material benefit and therefore threaten to refuse to serve if something does not work out the way they want it to; and on the other hand, there are those who see the State of Israel only as a place for spiritual fulfillment and therefore threaten to leave the country if they are forced to enlist.

However, these wonderful heroic figures are increasing in number (in fact, the profile of IDF's ground forces has long been religious and traditional) and the day is not far off when everyone will understand this. In the meantime, until day dawns and the shadows flee, these superheroes are the silver platter on which the Jewish state has been granted to us (to paraphrase poet Natan Alternman - see the famous poem in translation here, it is well worth the time)

Shabbat Shalom!