Arutz Sheva spoke with Chaim Meisels at the FIDF Gala event in Manhattan.
Meisels, the grandson of one of two Satmar Rebbes who lay claim to the hasidic dynasty, was drafted into the IDF in 2014 after moving to Israel from the United States. Last year he graduated from the IDF's Officer School and became a platoon commander in the Golani Brigade.
“When I was very young, I went to visit Israel for the first time,” he recalled. “Before that, I was reading a lot about World War II, so coming to Israel and seeing signs in Hebrew and the Israeli army and the Israeli police was amazing. I had an inner feeling that I had to be a part of it and do something for Israel. Things happened that I had to come back to New York and after a few years, one day I realized that I’m not a part of the haredi community anymore and I’m able and capable of going to Israel and being a part of the IDF.”
“I left behind a family and I went to Israel. I had the honor and the privilege to join (the IDF). After a few years they offered me to go an officer’s course, which for me was a very big deal to be able to become an officer in the IDF. I did it and now I’m four and a half years in,” continued Meisels.
Of the FIDF event he said, “It’s amazing to see, in New York, people with so much love and appreciation for Israel. It’s very different than I’m used to, and it’s just amazing.”