Monday, November 29, 2010

Reflections on making aliyah and looking into the future

A year and a half ago I posted this post about the future and what it holds. Part of it was about my childrens' future if I moved to Israel. What would their future be like, being drafted into the army here. I also mentioned another blog, A Soldier's Mother, written by a woman who made aliyah with her family about 17ish (?) years ago.

Today I saw this in her post:
"It bothers me that to live in this land, my children must know the uniform and the gun. My daughters may not serve in the army, but their husband or brother or nephew will at some point in the future. My sons will serve, as will their sons. To serve, if life remains as it has been for more than 60 years, means war."

So well phrased, so much of what I feel even though I'm not yet married and don't have children. My children will grow up seeing soldiers in uniform and men and women carrying guns as part of their daily life. And my children will, as she put it, "know the uniform and the gun" when their draft notices come and they, too, join the ranks of the IDF. I will encourage my daughters to serve in the army as well as I will my sons. I don't want there to be a need for my children to serve, and I know that my parents wouldn't want me to be in danger, just like I wouldn't want my children to be in danger...but they would be proud of me if I was in the army and did serve my country. When I was considering joining the American army, my parents weren't happy because they didn't want me to be in danger...but they would have been proud all the same. But I made the choice to move from somewhere that my children would not be drafted, and would not be asked to serve in the army to a place where...once they turn 18, when they're not even out of their teens and still...well, children...they're going to be asked to put on a uniform and learn how to use a gun. And not for pretend, for real. To be ready to fight in a war, if need be, and even to guard and defend the country in some capacity, even not in a declared war or operation. Was it fair what I did? I don't remember where I heard this, but someone said she made aliyah so her children don't have to (if you said it and read this blog, please let me know so I can credit you). I did...but was it-- will it-- be fair to them?

Something I've thought about but never said out loud, and I wonder if this place, this blog, being that I don't know who reads it, makes it almost easier to say it here-- I don't want to marry someone who didn't serve in the army for idealist reasons, didn't want to serve. If someone moved here when he was too old to serve-- fine. If he was exempted for medical reasons-- fine. But not to serve because you don't want to or idealist reasons...that bothers me. It's your country, too. I went on a date with someone who I've known for a few years and his brothers are in the army or about to go in, and I always assumed that he also served. And then he told me that he didn't. I'm not discussing his reasons here because they're not mine to discuss, but the army gave him an exemption and he did not serve. And that bothered want to live here, be here, raise a family here...and yet you're not willing to serve? I don't want my husband to go off every year for a few weeks, but...that's going to be life here, and I don't think I'd want it any other way really, because it's part of living here and you have to take the good with the not-so-fun. When he has to go for miluim, I will help him pack, get up that morning, kiss him goodbye, and wait and count down until he gets back. And that will be the life I've chosen. Unless he doesn't do miluim for some reason.

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