I’ve been serving in the IDF for two years. I’m a commander in a small combat unit and I love the job very much. In July and August, I was stationed at the Gaza Strip for the entire operation. I had a team of five soldiers and we spent over a month in a forest, sleeping in tents. At the beginning of the operation, all we had to eat were cans of tuna from our unit. We didn’t have showers and we couldn’t leave the area we were in, so as you can tell, our conditions and resources weren’t great. Not to mention I was the only girl on the team.
A week after we got there, a Kibbutz near the forest found out we were there. To say they went above and beyond for us would be an understatement. Every morning, they brought us fresh baked breads and cakes. For lunch, they delivered hot meals from the dining hall. They left their houses open for us so we could shower. Every now and then they even threw some pizzas in our direction. For me personally, the highlight was the Challah bread, Shabbat candles and five-course meal they brought us on Friday night. This went on the entire five weeks we were there. The experience left a huge impact on me. I saw the civilians of Israel, parents and small children, risking their lives (there were literally rockets falling all around us) to come care for us.
Nothing I’ve experienced in my army service will measure up to the feeling I had when this Kibbutz “adopted” us. It motivated me to keep doing what I’m doing and it made an incredibly difficult time in my service that much more bearable. Most importantly, it reminded me that there’s no place in the world like Israel.