Thursday, April 1, 2010

From Yoav-An Israeli Soldier's Life and Thoughts

This from a friend of mine, Yoav, who is an IDF soldier. He posts his thoughts on a blog and has given me permission to post some of them here. I should have done this at the beginning of Pesach, but it is still relevant and timely, as you will see. I highly recommend the link to his last year's thoughts on Passover at the end of his post!!

Paying the price for other's freedom
Posted: 30 Mar 2010 11:42 AM PDT
Passover, as you all know, is the Jewish holiday of freedom. Originally, Passover was meant to celebrate our people's Exodus from Egypt. But over the last 60 years, freedom and Passover have taken on an additional meaning: - Israeli freedom. Our freedom to live the way we want - as a nation and as individuals. Our independence as a state.

But that freedom comes with a price tag.

Many IDF soldiers, including me of course, spent (too) much time at checkpoints or improvised road-blocks in Judea and Samaria - the territories in which both Israelis and Arab "Palestinians" live. Roughly speaking, one could say that what we basically do in those checkpoints is to limit and restrict the freedom of others. .

Actually, that's true. But only partially true, because there’s also the other side of the coin. In the harsh environment in Judea and Samaria, we have to restrict some of the freedom of others in order to save human lives.
I remember this one time when a Palestinian ambulance rushed towards our checkpoint. Our normal procedure is to check all vehicles carefully, since they might be booby-trapped, used for weapons smuggling or even infiltrating terrorists into the heart of Israel. The procedure instructs us to check all vehicles, including ambulances - as we've already seen an (example-here and here) that terrorists use them as well.

Anyway, when we stopped the ambulance, we found out that it carried a pregnant woman, waiting to give birth. We were just about to search the ambulance (which takes at least 3-5 minutes), when the checkpoint commander, an IDF officer, told us to let the ambulance go.

At the time we couldn’t understand his actions, but today I understand. Freedom isn't free, that’s a cliché; but furthermore - sometimes you have to pay a price for other's freedom. In our case - take the risk on ourselves.

Happy Passover\Pesach,
Yoav B

(Click here for Last year's Passover post)

Baruch atem b'Shem, Yeshua

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