In the letter below, Sergeant Navad Wallach shares about his experiences with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). He was in the artillery division and served for a total of three years as both a Commander and Combat Medic. Please read, share this letter throughout your social media platforms and continue to pray for Israel!
For more information on Daystar’s efforts in Israel, and for ways that you can get involved today, visit Daystar.com/Israel.
I was born in Jerusalem, Israel and move to Sydney, Australia at age 11 due to my father’s work. At age 18 I returned to Israel to join a year-long leadership and volunteering program, and later joined the IDF. For me, joining the IDF was a choice, due to my lengthy stay overseas. However for most Israelis, service is mandatory.
Jumping a bit ahead, after my service I worked as a security and first aid provider, which is where I had the honour and privilege to work with the Daystar family when they visited Israel.
In 2008, only 3 weeks after my arrival in Israel to my leadership program, operation “Cast Lead” began. The program decided to migrate to Ashkelon in an attempt to entertain and encourage the children who had spent months on end in bomb shelters. At only 18 years of age, I was put in charge of security for my group as we walked from shelter to shelter in Ashkelon. This meant that when I heard a siren signalling a rocket was about to fall on the city, I needed to find a southern wall to run to within 15-30 seconds in order to protect the group and the children we were working with. It was an impossible situation to be in.
Being responsible for the lives of other people, all while doing what I believe to be good and ethical work is a theme that carried me for the subsequent 4 years, and will hopefully carry me for the rest of my life. This is also something I know that the Daystar family and I share in common.
Spending only a few weeks in Ashkelon, it was impossible for me to imagine what life had been like there since 2005; rockets haunting and terrorising the citizens of southern Israel for nearly a full decade, even threatening the rest of the country eventually.
It is truly remarkable what human beings can grow accustomed to. Can you imagine actually being ‘used to’ spontaneous rockets potentially killing you or a loved one at any moment, at any time? What kind of a life is this?? Imagine being woken up in the middle of the night, with your loved one sleeping beside you, by the sounds of an impending rocket strike in your city…
It was during this time that I felt the obligation and responsibility to be a part of the force that protects my family and friends in Israel, as well as Jewish people all around the globe.
Stories from my actual service I will perhaps share on another occasion, but for now I would like to address another concern. Today I am in Australia attempting to pursue a degree in medicine, partly with the intention of serving in the Israeli reserves as a doctor one day.
At my university there are posters all over the campus with signs such as “stop Israeli terrorists.” This is heart breaking to see. While this is happening, I am glued to the news to see whether or not I know someone who has fallen. Israel is such a small and tightly knit country, and with so many friends and family currently involved so intimately in this situation, the fatalities of over 60 people is a blow to every single individual in Israel. Everyone feels the excruciating pain of loss deeply. One day, I even found myself advising and trying to comfort a close friend debating which funeral to go to. Daystar’s support of Israel is so uplifting, and I know personally that your involvement and support of Israel is crucial to so many Israeli lives.
I would like to say to the Daystar family to simply keep doing what you’re doing, and spread the good word – which I know you do very very well. But on top of this I would like to ask you something else.
I ask you to expand your hearts even further to support the Palestinian people, because as dreadful as the situation is for the Israeli people it is also just as dreadful for the Palestinians.
Peace can only come from both Israelis and Palestinians together, and I encourage the Daystar family to be a part of helping these two peoples find a common ground. History has taught us that this reality is very possible, and I hope Daystar can be a part of it.