Tips for the IDF Reservist After 126 Days at War By Yuval Linden
בינה בפייסבוק בינה באינסטגרם צרו קשר עם בינה במייל

Tips for the IDF Reservist After 126 Days at War By Yuval Linden

 

What a series of intense, wild events! Every time that you think things are calming down and you’ll have a moment of rest, something new hits you from a direction you weren’t expecting.

Indescribable pain, inhuman behavior towards little children and babies, death from every direction, bombings coming from the air, attacks coming from the sea, people fleeing for their lives, fire, thunder, billows of smoke…..WOW, the Book of Exodus opens with a bang!

Today, after four months of the news we have become accustomed to since October 7th, the first chapters of Exodus meet our standard of unimaginable intensity here in the Middle East. 

The Exodus from Egypt, the event that started our nation/people, rolls on to the crossing of the Red Sea, and after almost three months in the Sinai Desert, this new nation bears witness to the sounds of thunder and the sights of fire and smoke at the receiving of the Ten Commandments. This crazy scene concludes last week’s parasha. 

[God] called to Moses from the middle of the cloud. 

Now the Presence of Jehovah appeared in the sight of the Israelites as a consuming fire on the top of the mountain. Moses went inside the cloud and ascended the mountain; and Moses remained on the mountain forty days and forty nights. Exodus 24:16-18

This tactic is well-known to us from binging on Netflix – ending with a cliffhanger that keeps viewers rooted to their couches and makes them click through to the next episode. The mountain is on fire and covered with a large cloud, and Moses walks into it to the astonished gazes of the Israeli people, and he disappears for 40 days and 40 nights. 

The level of expectation after such a thrill crashes down when meeting this week’s parashat hashavua – Parashat Truma. Three chapters, and the most thrilling event in them is the gathering of donations and the most common sentence, instructions similar to IKEA furniture building directions. 

You don’t believe me? Try opening the Book of Exodus in chapters 25-27 and read any paragraph and be able to say with complete sincerity (it’s actually a phrase in Hebrew that says ‘with your hand on your heart’) that you’ve read anything meaningful. 

 

They shall make an ark of acacia wood, two and a half cubits long, a cubit and a half wide, and a cubit and a half high. 

Overlay it with pure gold—overlay it inside and out—and make upon it a gold molding round about. 

Cast four gold rings for it, to be attached to its four feet, two rings on one of its side walls and two on the other. 

Make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold; 

then insert the poles into the rings on the side walls of the ark, for carrying the ark. 

The poles shall remain in the rings of the ark: they shall not be removed from it.

Exodus 25:10-15

 

Why??? Why do this to us? One of the best stories in history takes a dive into monotonous and meaningless instructions. Where’s the freedom from slavery? Let my people go? The parting of the Red Sea? Pharoah and his army drowning? Standing at the foot of Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments?

In an odd way, this week it all clicked for me. Last Sunday, I got back to work after 126 days of reserve duty. On October 7th, I was drafted back into the IDF and since then, for almost 4 months, I was around and inside the Gaza Strip as part of a combat unit. I may be just a small cog in the machine, but like a boy in the Israeli nation at the beginning of the book of Exodus, I was witness with my own eyes to ‘marot machonenim’ (<- this means sights that enlighten you to the essence of things – I can’t think of an English way to say it) the events that show the true essence of our nation.

I took part in the largest IDF reserve draft in the history of the nation. I found myself moving between the different villages and kibbutzim that were attacked by Hamas on October 7th. I saw the brigade tanks begin to move. I felt tens, or even hundreds of times, the warm hug of our nation embracing me and the rest of the IDF. I took part in the operations in Gaza. I saw our army working tirelessly, day and night, in the air, on land, and in the sea. 

Even when I was on leave, as I danced with my daughters on the balcony of our apartment, in the street below us, thousands celebrated the return of the young girls from the Avigdori family who were kidnapped and held hostage by Hamas. This week when I heard on the radio of the successful and heroic rescue of Louis and Fernando my emotions overflowed. 

The memories of the last few months include many difficult and nail-biting moments, like the time I stood in the assembly area of ​​the brigade on the night of the collapse of the building in Sagaiah, when helicopters and ambulances and rescue forces were rushing in , or when I heard over the IDF intercoms about a massive explosion and was passing the hours in worry, waiting to hear the numbers killed and wounded. 

How do you come back from such intensity to your mundane life? How do you go from being a witness to events that will be forever carved into the history of our people to day-to-day life. 

I entered my office at BINA this week. I sat behind my desk, and I found it hard to make the shift. Luckily, fate has awarded me with a task of reading parashat hashavua and I’ve learned from it about such shifts. 

Just start doing. Coat the closet in gold. Open your email. Take a length of crimson fabric. Have a meeting with your team. Install gold rings on the sides near the serifs. Write a few words about Parashat Truma and the events of the hour. 

As you may be told, in many workshops and articles for reservists who are going back to civilian life, the return to day-to-day life from such an unfathomable peak of the past few months demands a recipe that has already been tried and tested thousands of years ago. Completing small, monotonous action after small monotonous action helps you catch your breath and get back into your regular pace of life. Good luck to us all with that.

Yuval Linden,  is the VP of BINA.

More articles

Parshat Shmini -A Silent Minute for the Bird

Parashat Shmini is named after the day on which the dedication of the Tabernacle reached its climax. After a week of precise and detailed preparations, Aaron and his sons bring the divine presence into the Tabernacle. At that height of the moment, a great tragedy occurs. The young priests Nadab and Abihu, the two chosen sons of Aaron the priest, sin in forbidden work and disobey the laws of the sacred service. They are punished for their actions and die. […]

קרא עוד…

Read more >>

God Is In The Details – Parshat “Tetzaveh”

“Torah shows us that the truth, both the divine and ours, is found in our faith in the power of the connection of opposites.” This week’s parashah explores the power in the connection of opposites. Ran Oron, reminds us that “In these days of turmoil in our hearts we must insist on the power of connection.” […]

קרא עוד…

Read more >>

Want to stay up-to-date? Sign up now for the BINA newsletter >>