ISRAEL: From Baby to Soldier. From Worried Mom to Calm Mom.
Twenty-one years ago, at the age of twenty, I was pregnant with my first child.
At that point, I already knew that I would be moving to Israel within a few years. Emigrating to another country is daunting, but I wasn’t worried about the language or the cultural differences.
My biggest worry and the one that left me with quite a few sleepless nights and wanting to chicken out, was the fact that there is mandatory draft in Israel.
Since we are orthodox, girls can do national service instead of army service, but for boys there is no way out.
They do three years of army service. I was worried and concerned because army service in Israel definitely comes with the possibility of combat.
Needless to say, I spent quite a bit of time silently hoping my baby would be a girl. All that kept going on in my mind was why have a baby to send him off to war and the possibility of harm coming to him. (more…)