40 More Reasons to be Proud

This week, many headlines reported protests involving Israeli soldiers.

Kotel image, Western Wall image

Anyone who is not a frequent visitor to the Old City

 might have missed what has become a regular event in Jerusalem.

Near the Kotel, in the Western Wall Plaza,

the IDF holds swearing-in ceremonies for soldiers.

Soldiers of the Golani Brigade were sworn in last Thursday

Canadian flag image

and smart supporters knew to arrive early to get a good spot.

Israeli soldier image, Ethiopian image

Hundreds of young men

Female Israeli soldiers image,

and young women participated.

Joining with the hundreds of young Israelis were lone soldiers

from the Ukraine, France, Brazil and Venezuela,

Nevada and New York, Baltimore and Los Angeles in the USA.

Before the ceremony began,

over 40 lone soldiers were treated to a delicious dinner

 sponsored by the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin.

As at most Israeli gatherings, food is a central feature,

but lone soldiers do not have the families to bring them treats to eat.

Israeli soldiers image, Ethiopian image

Lined up and ready to go,

 hundreds of soldiers filled the tunnel near the Kotel.

Golani Brigrade image

Inside the tunnel a group of soldiers started singing, 

“Mi Mesugal” Division 13… can do it.”

soldier using cellphone image

Finally it was time to start…how did we find anyone before cellphones?

Western Wall Plaza image

As the young soldiers marched in

Ceremony at the Wailing Wall

the plaza was packed with thousands of spectators,

 as family and friends

Israeli soldiers at attention, image

and visitors all tried 

to see

Iphones as cameras image

and photograph the newest graduating soldiers of the IDF.

Israeli flag image

The Israeli flags flew and the flame burned brightly.

Golani soldier, Golani emblem image

Congratulations and thanks go out to all those who serve.

Yes…I am biased to the Golani Brigade and lone soldiers,

as my two sons served as lone soldiers in the Golani Brigade

and just typing these words brings tears to my eyes.

Along with the parents of last week’s inductees,

we are filled with pride and concern. 

 Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the next generation 

 would not have to be called to serve in the army?

If you have a minute check out this video of the singing


and many more photos from the dinner and tekes, ceremony can be found here: