My Son Just Drafted into the IDF During the Coronavirus Pandemic

by Avi Abelow

On March 17th our family traveled up North to my son’s religious school, Yeshiva, in order to pack up his things and prepare him for his IDF draft into an infantry unit. Guidelines on living with the coronavirus already had begun, but it was only while we were driving up North that a new guideline was announced forbidding anybody from leaving their homes except for essential errands. Obviously, what we were doing was essential in anycase.

A week later my son was drafted, and we drove him to the IDF base to begin his army service.

This coronavirus pandemic is a crazy time period for the world. It is also a crazy time period dealing for a son to draft into the Israeli army.

Many people were asking whether our son’s draft would be postponed. But, as an IDF infantry soldier myself, I knew that it would take a lot for the IDF to push off a draft for infantry soldiers, an extreme move that would leave the IDF missing key fighting soldiers to replace discharged soldiers. So, obviously, the draft was not pushed off.

Now, all our sons who drafted during this coronavirus are on their army bases, in lockdown, not able to go home for months, in order to control the corona. The army does not want soldiers visiting home, seeing people and by accident coming down with the virus and then returning to base and infecting hundreds of fighting soldiers. It is a very challenging time to be in the IDF right now.

All I can say is how proud I am of my son, not only for his service, but in understanding that to be a Jewish soldier in the Jewish state of Israel is a privilige not to be taken for granted. After thousands of years of exile and persecution, unable to defend ourselves, we are now blessed to live in the third Jewish commonwealth of the Jewish people, the modern State of Israel, with our own army to defend ourselves.

May G-d above look after all of our holy soldiers.

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