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February 01, 1980 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1980-02-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Oldest Soldier in the World

By. MOSHE RON

The Jewish News Special
Israel Correspondent

TEL AVIV — Zeide Noah

is without any doubt the
oldest soldier in the world.
A few days ago he cele-
brated his 84th birthday.
He has served with the Is-
raeli army 31 years and ap-
peared in his uniform at his
birthday celebration.

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All Gadna youngsters
undergoing para-military
service at the Gadna base in
Beer Ora, call him lovingly
"Zeide Noah" or just "Zeide"
(grandpa).
Eight years ago he sud-
denly decided to take off his
uniform (only for two hours)
and to get a release from
active service in the army
with the rank of major. He
thought that people were
ridiculing him, as if he was
'playing soldier."
Clad for the first time
after many years in civilian
clothing he told his superior
officers: "If you don't need
me any more in the military
service I am ready to re-
sign." But none of his
superiors wished or dared to
tell Zeide Noah to pack his
things and leave.
"My home is the artily. I
have nowhere to go. I do not
wish to go to another place,"
Zeide Noah said afterwards.
His superior officers decided
he should stay in the army
as a volunteer.
"Only a few years ago
there were about 100 pen-
sioners active in Zahal like
me," Zeide Noah said, "but
today I am the only volun-
teer in the army.
Zeide Noah was a
headache to the army be-
cause there were many
more old soldiers who
wished to stay. They always
pointed to Zeide Noah, ask-
ing why was he allowed to
stay?
Once former Chief of Staff
Yitzhak Rabin asked why a
70-year-old soldier contin-
ued his army service? The
answer was that Zeide Noah
refused to leave the army.
He wished to die in uniform.

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When Rabin was informed
that Zeide Noah serves in
the desert, far south of
Beersheba, he agreed to
leave Zeide Noah in the
army.
Zeide Noah has served for
65 years in several armies:
in Russia under Czar
Nikolai, as a soldier in the
Turkish army, as an officer
in the British army and af-
terwards as officer in the Is-
raeli army. He joined Zahal
after the establishment of
the state of Israel, when he
was 53 years old.
Zeide Noah gets up daily
at 4 a.m. "I have to have
enough time to fulfill all my
chores, he told us. "In the
early morning I open all the
water installations at the
base and watch over water-
ing the flowers. Afterwards
I have my breakfast and
start teaching the young
Gadna soldiers how to plant
trees and flowers. After-
wards I help at the central
telephone exchange of the
base. During my 31 years of
service I have not taken one
day of vacation. My only
love is work and Eretz Yis-
rael."
Zeide Noah is content
with his, army uniform and
he does not need any civi-
lian clothing. He is a
bachelor, claiming that his
children are the whole
Jewish people.
Many things in Israel are
causing Zeide Noah deep
regret. "I see that some
youth are departing from
Zionism," he told us. "I try
to argue with them and to
plant in them love of the
country. Most youngsters
are golden boys. I meet
them each day and my heart
overflows with love."
In his little room Zeide
Noah leads an austere life.
He has a small refrigerator,
gas stove, bed and a lot of
sweets and candy to offer to
his. guests.
His army commander de-
scribes Zeide Noah as the
most disciplined soldier in
the army. His devotion to
duty is an example for the
young soldiers. The com-
mander of the Gadna, Col.
Hillel Ben-Meir, took part
personally in Zeide Noah's
84th birthday celebration.
Zeide Noah is an expert in
planting trees at Zahal
bases. He does this also in
the desert. The small
wooded hill near the Gadna
base in Beer Ora is his work.
His soldiers hope that he
will "live to 120" and still
wear the Zahal uniform.

Foundation Cites
Kinneret Officers

NEW YORK — Some
1,500 people are expected to
attend the 68th annual
Young Israel Youth Found-
ation dinner on March 23, at
which the National Kas-
hrut Leadership Award will
be presented to Jerold B.
Krupnick and Benjamin
Brecher.
The honorees are
president and vice president
respectively of the Kinneret
Foods Corp. and are being
honored for their contribu-
tions to the field of kosher

food.

Friday, February 1, 1980 17

Jerusalem Hotline Initiated by Kolel

NEW YORK — Kolel
America Tifereth
Jerusalem, a religious and
social service organization
in Israel, has initiated a hot-
line to arrange for prayers
to be recited in Jerusalem
and at the Western Wall for
the seriously ill, or in time
of personal crisis.
The hotline, operated on a
24-hour basis by the New
York office of Kolel
America, notes the nature

of the emergency and the
Hebrew name and mother's
Hebrew name of the indi-
vidual.
This information is then
transmitted to Jerusalem,
where rabbinical scholars
at the post-graduate insti-
tute of Yeshiva Tifereth
Jerusalem, under the aegis
of Kolel America, recite
appropriate prayers and
Psalms in the yeshiva and
at the Kosel Maaravi.

Likud to Fall?

JERUSALEM (ZINS) —
Deputy Premier Simha
Ehrlich has expressed pes-
simism in a Maariv inter-
view about the future of the
Likud government. Ehrlich
said West Bank settle-
ments, the possible resigna-
tion of Ezer Weizman and
the economy could all lead
to a Likud collapse.
Maariv said that Na-
tional Religious Party
leader Dr. Yosef Burg also
believes that Likud will
eventually fall from power,

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