[Freemanlist2] YAAKOV KATZ - Bereaved family bravely sends sons to IDF

Freeman Center For Strategic Studies bernards at sbcglobal.net
Mon Apr 19 08:11:15 CDT 2010

Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover - Dear Friends,

A few hours ago, at 8:00pm exactly,sirens sounded all over Israel and
people stood still for the minute of silence remembering our soldiers
that fell in line of duty and remembering those murdered by Arab

On this day of Yom Hazikaron we not only mourn the fallen, but we
remember their courage and appreciate the fact that these people gave
their lives in order for the People of Israel to be able to live in
the land of Israel.

Each victim is a life in itself.
Each beareaved family is a world in itself.

Below we are giving you just one story of such a wonderful family, the
Goodman family, who happen to be neighbors of ours and close friends
to many of our Women in Green members.

The memory of the heroes who gave their lives for Israel gives us
strength to continue the struggle for the safeguarding of the People
of Israel in the land of Israel,

With love for Israel,

Nadia Matar and Yehudit Katsover

Though difficult, bereaved family bravely sends sons to IDF
By YAAKOV KATZ, The Jerusalem Post
April 18, 2010

In a day when Israeli youths are looking to dodge military service,
the Goodman brothers’ decision to serve in the IDF cannot be taken for

Yehuda Goodman doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. All he
did, he said, was recently finish his three-year mandatory military
service in the Paratrooper Brigade’s elite Maglan Unit.

His younger brother, Naftali, was also drafted into Maglan ­ which
specializes in operating behind enemy lines while using advanced
technology and weaponry ­ in 2007, and is wrapping up his service as a
sniper in a Paratrooper battalion. Another brother, “B,” was drafted a
year ago into the elite Duvdevan Unit, which conducts undercover
arrests in the West Bank.

A fourth brother, Asher, is training for the grueling tryouts he will
go through later this month with the goal of also getting accepted
into either Duvdevan or Maglan.

On the surface, the enlistment of four brothers into elite combat
units may not be so unique. But Yehuda, Naftali, “B” and Asher are not
the first in their family to serve in the military.

Their older brother, Yosef, a fighter in Maglan, was killed in
February 2006 during a complicated jump, when his parachute got
entangled around the leg of his commander. As both men began to dive,
Yosef cut the ropes of the parachute, saving his commander’s life. Too
close to the ground for his reserve parachute to open, Yosef plummeted
to his death.

In a day and age when many Israeli youths are looking for ways to
dodge military service, the Goodman brothers’ decision to serve in
some of the IDF’s best units cannot be taken for granted. Until
recently, siblings of fallen soldiers were automatically exempted from
combat duty. If, despite their loss, they still wanted to serve, their
parents needed to sign a waiver in the presence of a lawyer.

“I served in the army like everyone else,” Yehuda said last week
during an interview at his family’s home in the Gush Etzion settlement
of Efrat. “We have a country to protect, and even though my brother
died in the line of duty, I am no different than anyone else who needs
to serve his country.”

Recently discharged, Yehuda is studying for the pre-university
psychometric exam. In the meantime, he is working at the Pizzeria
Efrat, which his father, Mordechai, opened when he moved his family to
Israel from New York in the mid-1980s as part of Rabbi Shlomo Riskin’s
Lincoln Square Synagogue congregation. At the time, Ann and Mordechai
Goodman had two young sons, Shimon and Yosef. Their other seven
children ­ five boys and two girls ­ were born in Israel.

Ahead of the enlistment of their fourth son since Yosef’s death,
Mordechai and Ann provided insight into their difficult decision: to
sign the waiver again and again, allowing their sons to serve in
combat units.

The story of Miriam Peretz, who lost two sons in the line of duty ­
Maj. Eliraz Peretz in a clash with Gazan terrorists last month and Lt.
Uriel Peretz in south Lebanon in 1998 ­ underscores the dangers.

“[Our sons] didn’t ask us, but told us that we have to sign since they
wanted to honor Yosef and continue what he had taught them,” Mordechai

Ann added that the military gave Yosef an unbelievable amount of
self-confidence, and that it would not have been right for her and
Mordechai to deny their other sons that experience.

“Yosef was for the brothers greater than life,” she said. “He was the
first to go to the army, and he shined.”

Ann recommended that young mothers have a lot of children.

“This is something I never thought about when I was having babies, but
now it is such a comfort to have a large family,” she said. “Another
bereaved mother once called it ‘a cushion.’ The sad possibility of
losing a son in the army should encourage young mothers to have more
children, so they are not left with one or no children after a tragedy
­ God forbid ­ strikes.”

After Yehuda’s decision, the other sons had little room for
deliberation. Naftali went in next, and then “B.” For Asher, the
decision was obvious. When he received his draft order and saw that it
was not for a combat unit, he got scared.

“I immediately called the military and found out
that if my parents signed, I would get a new draft order with combat
units,” he said.

Mordechai and Ann said they did not feel any resentment toward the
country, nor regret their decision of over two decades ago to
immigrate to Israel.

“The Israeli people need to feel greater love for
the land, and we have to defend it,” Ann said. “I am proud that this
is my country.”


Women For Israel's Tomorrow  (Women in Green)
POB 7352, Jerusalem 91072, Israel
Tel: 972-2-624-9887 Fax: 972-2-624-5380
mailto:wfit2 at womeningreen.org
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