As we head towards Yom Kippur (starting tonight), this story on the IDF blog is a fascinating reminder of the unique nature of Israel, and the service the soldiers of our citizen army contribute to the country. There’s also an element of memorial, given this is the 40th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War:
The Holiest Day of the Year: How IDF Soldiers Observe Yom Kippur
“…the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur begins, a day known as the most somber in the Jewish calendar. Also known as The Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur is marked by long but beautiful prayer services and a 25-hour fast. Jews of all denominations around the world will be observing the holiday, but that doesn’t mean the Israel Defense Forces will be letting its guard down.
Day-to-day work in the IDF comes to a halt on all holidays like Yom Kippur, but essential security work must be active 24/7 as a result of constant threats posed by Israel’s enemies. In 1973, Syria and Egypt abused the holiness of the day by attacking Israel while most of soldiers were fasting at home or in the Synagogue.”
Read the whole thing, here.