Monday, December 7, 2009

Two Decades till Tomorrow

Twenty-four years...

Jewish history tells of a modest man who lived in the hills of northern Israel. He was a shepherd and unlearned. Until inspired by love and the deceptive power of water to tunnel through stone, Akiva devoted himself to Torah study. He started late and yet the peaks he reached remain a legacy to his community centuries later.

Twenty-four years...

For two decades I have waited for the opportunity that awaits me tomorrow. The chance to serve and defend the Jewish people, vividly and completely...

I often hear doubts about why I am prepared to enlist at such an advanced age. Your commanders will be younger than you, they say. My peers will be immature eighteen year olds, I hear, with none of my educational and overseas experience.

I am very conscious of my age and the unusual path I have taken to arrive where I am today. Conscious-yet grateful. I am grateful for the journey that began in a land my teacher Rabbi Label Dulitz called the frozen fjords of Minnesota and has woven its way across the USA, looping through China, Ethiopia and back and forth across Europe and the Middle East before coming to rest, tomorrow morning, in an induction base outside of Tel Aviv.

I am also truly grateful for the support and encouragement from the one of a kind friends and family I have encountered along my journey. The courage I take into the road ahead is built on the encouragement you give me, the values you have impressed upon me and the stories we share that light the way.


  1. sammy i adore you, i thank my good luck that i was able to be with you this special morning, dont forget the gold protective layer, and the y h v h over your head, see you soon.

  2. You mentioned a number of posts ago that a lot of your more resolute peers are older and of chutznik descent. Is that still true and do you think it's a positive or a negative if it is?

    הצלחה רבה!

    You remain my hero.

  3. I like the Rabbi Dulitz shout out!
    Good luck!!