For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
I never thought that my last military reserve duty (“Meluim” in Hebrew) would leave me nostalgic. Going to Meluim means dropping your family and work for up to one month every year and going back to your army unit. Typical tasks include doing guard duty in the middle of the night, shooting, helping in the kitchen, patrolling the border, and cleaning the restrooms. Then of course, there is this maddening “hurry-up and wait” pattern: You’re rushed out of bed at 5 am only to be told a few minutes later that something went wrong with the schedule and that new instructions will come –maybe, sometime during the day, nobody knows. Having just turned 39 and being in a combat unit, I no longer have to deal with this. “Good for you” you may say. Actually, what a loss.
The IDF’s reserve duty system is a logistical nightmare for the army and a highly disruptive occurrence for people with a life. And yet, it is one of the best things Israel has ever invented.
Meluim are socially and psychologically healthy. A commandant can be a 25 year-old student giving orders to a 39 year-old professor (who could incidentally be his teacher). A taxi driver can wake up the CEO of a multi-million dollar company at 3 in the morning to switch him on guard duty.
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"