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:



12 thoughts on “40 More Reasons to be Proud

  • January 31, 2012 at 2:54 am

    lovely pics! I especially love pics of the army young men. I have one son that just finished 3 yrs. in the army. one daughter currentlly there. another son will join in the summer. the last pics was especially touching, a dad with his smilling son.

    • January 31, 2012 at 9:03 am

      So you certainly understand the pride and concern.
      The last pic was actually an uncle and nephew, but I also thought it was an “especially touching” pic, thanks.

  • January 31, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Beautiful! An Army tekes at the Kotel is one of the most moving “only in Israel” experiences.

  • January 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I was in Israel in ’92 and saw the swearing in ceremony at the kotel. Then we went to Ben Yehuda for some refreshments. In the cafe where we sat, were about 75 beautful young soldiers who had their rifles resting on the backs of the chairs. It occurred to me that in the US – I could never sit comfortably with so many young people with rifles near by. But here, in our holy Israel, we could sit as tourists and enjoy the coffee, not being afraid.

    We are so blessed to have such brave, committed and beautiful young people serve our country.

    • January 31, 2012 at 3:04 pm

      Beautiful comment Toby! Thank you. After the ceremony young soldiers were in the restaurants all around the area.
      Around ’92 in Athens, there were soldiers in the airport armed with rifles and I was not comfortable.

  • February 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Ok, you win. I always think that I am a bit of a noodge when I write. I get carried away but YOU did it this time to me.
    Just the sight of our beautiful, young “sons” gathering together to swear allegiance to our country brings tears to my eyes.
    You showed the apprehension on faces of beautiful Israeli men and women, the mixing of cultures and colors, all blended together with one purpose to protect our land and its people. How can we not love them and pray for their safety.
    Your photo of the green light on walls and arches reflecting on the proud green berets of our children is beautiful as well.
    My daughters were in the army and my son in the navy and I will never forget the sigh of relief and “todah HaShem” when they walked safely through the door at weekends. Their jokes and laughter with family and friends around the Friday night supper table and the pride, and respect the country has for our young soldiers who all play their part serving our beautiful Israel.
    We thank them.

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