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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Crazy Week

What a crazy week it's been! I'll start at the beginning:

Thursday night we (me and some friends) went to Lechet, a night club up in Kfar Vitkin. We had a great time and got home at about 4:30. I didn't get such a great night sleep because I was up already by 11 because Friday's activity was paintball in Beit Beril. Paintball was sooo much fun. It's been such a long time since I've been there. I think since I've been in the army. I would like to think some of the skills I learned in the army made me play better, but I'm not sure. I did manage to get shot less but one shot left a pretty nasty bruise. I did manage to get some good shots in though. Friday night some friends came over for dessert and friends of ours were visiting from Canada. To finish off the weekend the guys hit Mike's Place Saturday night and I got home at about 3am when I had to get up at 6:30.

Monday night was Lag BaOmer, one of my favorite holidays here. There are two Jewish holidays you can't truly appreciate until you celebrate them here. The are Yom HaAtzmaut and Lag BaOmer. While outside of Israel in Jewish communities they are festive, here in Israel you are truly immersed in the festivities here. For Lag BaOmer everyone makes a bon fire. We had one up in the fields in the south of Ra'anana. There was about 50 people at ours. We spent the night just talking, playing guitar and overall,just having a good time.

This has been one of my more busy weeks and it has left me exhausted. It was definitely worth it though. I really feel like I spent my time wisely and had a lot of fun.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Honor Guard

Honor Guard
Originally uploaded by Benjamin Ludman.
Honor Guard on base dunring Yom HaZikaron.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The Right To Exist

In the past week we have observed two memorial days, Yom HaShoah and Yom HaZikaron- “Holocaust and Heroism Memorial Day” and the “Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terror”. On both of these days I had the honor to guard my army base and on the latter to stand as the honor guard in front of the memorial flame. I felt immense pride to know that on these solemn days, I was a part of the IDF, the Israel Defense Force, protecting my people so that no one could kill 6 million of us again. As I stood at attention, my gun to one side the flame to the other, I thought of all the brave souls who lost their lives protecting ours. I thought of those brutally murdered simply for being Jewish. At that moment, it was specifically for that reason that I felt such pride.

Today we mark Israel’s 58th birthday, the anniversary of our country. And yet, all these years later, there are still those who refuse to acknowledge our right to exist as a country and even further, our right to exist as a people. More than 60 years after the fall of the Third Reich there are still those that call for our destruction. As the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, shamelessly calls for our destruction while pushing his country closer to becoming a nuclear power, I am scared. And I pray we will heed the inscription on the monument at Treblinka, and “Never Again” will we allow it to happen.