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.
Among the IAF cadets taking off from the Hatzerim Air Force Base is also "T." Her community is already planning the celebration for Israel's first religious female combat pilot.
Every time a fighter jet passes over the religious moshav in Southern Israel, all eyes proudly gaze to the skies, wondering if the jet's pilot is "T" -- a 21 year resident of their moshav, who is on the flight path to make history.
The hardworking young woman recently completed the first year of the challenging, elite combat pilot's course of the IDF and she is expected to complete the course as an IAF squadron combat pilot -- as the first religious female cadet.
"T" stands out among the landscape of the Air Force Base which is home to the most prestigious military course offered by the IDF, both by being a woman and by being strictly religious.
Till now she only wore military issued skirts, which are now being replaced by her flight overalls, and she is careful not to touch any of her male colleagues, due to the Jewish laws of modesty, tzniut. Last week "T" was informed that she has been placed in the combat pilot's track, which will include at a later stage attacking targets dogfights.
Her very presence in the course is unusual, and even her way to the coveted pilot's course was "historical". While most nationalist-religious women serve in "National Service" for a year, "T" decided to spend 2 years doing "National Service" within the framework of a Midrasha (a Jewish studies program for women) and volunteering as a Bnei Akiva Youth Movement "Komonarit" (chapter leader).
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!"