'We received exemptions, but we chose to enlist anyway'

IDF holds first-ever ceremony honoring volunteer IDF soldiers.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

At the ceremony
At the ceremony
IDF spokesperson

The IDF on Tuesday evening held a special holiday event honoring volunteer soldiers.

The event, the first of its kind, was led by IDF Manpower Directorate Head General Moti Almoz. It is part of an effort to improve the volunteer soldiers' status and the process by which he enlists.

During the event, which was held on the first night of Hanukkah, Almoz lit the first candle together with the volunteer soldiers.

"It's a great merit to be part of this army, and you are a significant portion of its soldiers," Almoz told the volunteers. "It's an honor to command you, and to see how you serve in all roles in the army, every day - and especially on a day like this."

Turning to the audience, he said, "You are sitting together with many soldiers who see that it's possible, that persistence pays off, that when there is determination, you can do things you didn't consider possible. There's nothing more symbolic than lighting the first Hanukkah candle at this event."

Speaking for the volunteer soldiers, Teleprocessing Corps Computer Network Administrator Maayan Cohen said, "Every one of us knows that he or she has an ability no one else has, and has more abilities than limits. We are all able to manage, to fight, and to be victorious over our limitations."

"We received an exemption, but we are here, we volunteer, we are soldiers, we enlisted in the IDF because this is everyone's army, and everyone who has the ability must play as significant a role as possible, serving and contributing to the country we live in - the State of Israel, our land."

מוטי אלמוז
צילום: דובר צה"ל