Solidier, soldiers, Israeli soldiers, IDF, Zahal, carpool

Volunteering in a carpool

My phone pings all the time. Normally, this would be considered a nuisance, but now it’s music to my ears. These pings are WhatsApp notifications from my carpool groups, from people offering to drive soldiers and equipment, and requests from soldiers in need of a ride. Lately, these requests have also come from people who have been evacuated from the southern or northern border regions.

These carpools are truly amazing. They formed as soon as a general call-up for reservists went out following the massacre by Hamas terrorists in the south of the country. I joined right at the beginning and have been crisscrossing our little country ever since, picking up soldiers at home after a furlough and returning them to their base, and vice versa, or transporting boxes packed by other volunteers to soldiers in the camps. These boxes contain donated supplies ranging from cosmetics to underwear, medication to hot meals. It’s amazing how the country has come together; groups of volunteers are active everywhere, and despite the worries that plague us, morale is high. The most incredible thing is that people are kind to each other ????

By now, I’ve driven close to 3000 kilometers. I’ve reached places I’d never heard of and driven people I would have never met. When they sit next to me, our beautiful young people in their uniforms, with their personal weapons between their legs, my heart swells with pride. As a Holocaust survivor, I sense that they are the living symbol of our continued and eternal Jewish contribution to life on this planet, which even the greatest human evil could not eradicate.

We usually part with a hug and a blessing. They thank me profusely for my efforts in bringing them safely to their destination, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their much bigger contribution by risking their lives in defense of our country and us. This war has created a bond across the ages and all the other political, religious, and cultural differences. It has united us in the determination to defeat the evil that aims to destroy us, and everyone does their part. I tell them that my contribution is minor relative to theirs, and that everyone contributes as best they can. It’s all part of the effort to save our country. So, the phone pings, and I’m off!

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