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October 05, 1984 - Image 20

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-10-05

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

20

Friday, October 5, 1984

THE DETROIT JEWISH -NEWS

NEWS

HAPPY NEW YEAR

1985 HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR
PORTRAITS

High holidays create mixed
emotions for IDF, Civil Guard

BY HUGH ORGEL

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Tel Aviv — The holidays, espe-
cially the High holidays from
Rosh Hoshana through Yom Kip-
pur to Succot, are not a particu-
larly happy time for the men and
women serving in the Israel De-
fense Force; the young conscripts
and the reservists.
For the rest of the country, in-
cluding the reservists not called
up for their annual period of army
duty, the holidays are a time for
family reunions, with synagogue
attendance for the observant and
relaxation at the seaside or in
parks and leisure spots for the
secular part of the population. But
not so far for the IDF.
Although every effort is made
by the high command to release as
many soldiers as possible from
their military duties, especially
on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kip-
pur, there is a minimum size
below which the defense forces
cannot be allowed to fall, and
many must remain on duty in
army bases, camps, near the bor-
ders and inside Lebanon. This
year, that minimum number is
obviously larger than at any time
since the end of the Yom Kippur
War in 1973.
During the New Year and Yom
Kippur festivals, every effort is
made to enable serving soldiers to
fulfill their religious prayer obli-
gations, as far as that is possible
under the special circumstances.
While for soldiers in general Rosh
Hashanah and Yom Kippur are
times when they can expect the
maximum possible number to be
allowed home for a day or so, for
members of the chaplain's corps,
this time is a period of maximum
call-up for this group of reservists.
Their numbers include young
rabbis, cantors, who can lead reli-
gious services even in the field,
and men to blow the shofar.
Hundred of rams horns are
brought to army camps, and their
sounds and calls, some of them
based on ancient Biblical military
summons, are a distinctive fea-
ture in camps on Rosh Hashanah

as they are in established places of
worship.
IDF religious services under
active army conditions take place
in a variety of places — huts in
regular army camps, in makeshift
tents under field conditions, or
even in the open air if no suitable
buildings are available or those
available are not big enough to
cater for the many men and
women who wish to attend. And-
many attend who would probably
not go to synagogue under their
normal civilian conditions in
town. --
In addition to the religious ob-
servances, the army tries to have
special food for the holiday meals
to help alleviate the harshness of
a festival which must be observed
far from home and family. The
Soldiers Welfare Committee dis-
tributes as many gifts to serving
soldiers as possible from the pro- r_
ceeds of its special appeal for
funds for holiday gifts as it can
raise.
For the police and Civil Guard
this holiday season is also a period
of maximum work and pressure
for policemen and guardsmen.
The latter are civilians, mostly
the more elderly, both men and
women, who have completed their
normal army reserve duties and
have now volunteered to help the
police guard against possible
terorist attacks.
Each and every synagogue and
place of worship, as well as picnic
area, will have its roster of armed
men on special guard, on the
watch for both suspicious objects
and suspicious persons.
And quite apart from the "secu-
rity watch," the holiday season
presents problems to the traffic
police, coping with the scores and
even hundreds of thousands of Is-
raelis who will be on the roads at
this holiday season — visiting
family and friends in other
localities, or on their way to and
from vacation centers.

Copyright 1984, JTA Inc.

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A Yemenite Jew blows the shofar at Jerusalem's Western Wall.

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