Lone­ly Soldier

Adam Har­mon
  • Review
By – October 24, 2011

When a Jew gets up, leaves his home and moves to Israel it is called mak­ing aliyah.” Adam Har­mon made aliyah, arriv­ing in Israel after grad­u­at­ing from uni­ver­si­ty and set about ful­fill­ing his dream. Adam want­ed to con­tribute to the Jew­ish State by join­ing the Israeli Defense Forces. 

Every 18 year old in Israel is draft­ed into the army, but only a select few are cho­sen for elite units. Adam, the out­sider, was select­ed to become a para­troop­er, one of Israel’s elite soldiers. 

Already a US col­lege grad­u­ate, Adam was con­sid­er­ably old­er than the rest of his unit and, more impor­tant­ly, he spoke no Hebrew. Being old­er than the aver­age recruit, Adam could have short­ened his army stint. He chose not to. Unable to speak Hebrew, he could have been sent to learn the lan­guage. He chose to stay with his unit. 

The author’s descrip­tions are deeply emo­tion­al, fun­ny and scary at the same time. His desire and com­mit­ment to help out his pla­toon were pow­er­ful. His lack of Hebrew begs the ques­tion of how much he might have jeop­ar­dized the team he so want­ed to become a part of. When his team par­tic­i­pates in a live exer­cise, for exam­ple, Adam mans a mor­tar, giv­ing his fel­low sol­diers cov­er. His com­mand­ing offi­cer repeat­ed­ly shouts stop” — in Hebrew, and Adam does not under­stand the order. He has nev­er heard this word for stop” before. While on guard duty the radio goes off and Adam can­not under­stand the mes­sage. The impli­ca­tions are frightening. 

In the case of Adam Har­mon, all’s well that end’s well. And for that, we are thankful.

Mic­ah D. Halpern is a colum­nist and a social and polit­i­cal com­men­ta­tor. He is the author of What You Need To Know About: Ter­ror, and main­tains The Mic­ah Report at www​.mic​ah​halpern​.com.

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