IDF soldiers: Tallit and tzitzit 'in action'

31st Oct 2023

For any Jew, when you stop your day's work and errands and sundry affairs for tefilah, it affords you a fabulous opportunity for "quality time" with the Creator of the Universe. When I was in the IDF decades ago, that time was cherished. Instead of getting up in the cold and going straight to the routine grunge work of army life, the observant soldiers had the priviledge of 45 minutes or so to slip away from their unit and head to the shul on the base.

During field exercises, the commanding officers were often a bit less accommodating, at least in my unit. I recall once camping out in a huge military base in the South during training exercises. We were not given any schedule for the next day, so just went to sleep not knowing when we'd have to get up. At 6:00 the call went around to roll up the sleeping bags and jump into the tanks and armored personnel carriers to complete the drill. I had a total of under 30 minutes to get up, get ready and daven Shacharis. There are kosher ways to curtail Shacharis in such circumstances, but you have to be well-prepared.

The photos of the Iron Swords War which I'm now seeing online, featuring soldiers wearing tallit and tzitzit and tefillin, make me hearken back to those days. Below are links to various photos of religious soldiers engaged in essential preparation for battle: prayer.

Unfortunately we don't have permission to post these photos (most of which belong to Flash 90), so you'll have to click on the links one-by-one.

Tallis on a tank and more

Shacharit during training exercise in the Golan Heights

IDF soldier wearing tallit and tefillin