It is always inspiring to watch an IDF General speak about heroism and pride. Effy Eitam is a decorated Israeli General who makes it clear in this short story that when he faced a grizzly bear, he was absolutely shivering with fear. But he stood up and faced the bear, and did what he needed to do. This is in line with what Effy Eitam has done throughout his entire life.
Before Effy Eitam was a decorated General in Israel, he was a young commander. He, like many other Israeli soldiers was caught unprepared in the Yom Kippur War. Israel had very few soldiers guarding it’s borders in the North and the South. Then, in a coordinated assault, Egypt and Syria attacked. In Israel’s south, a few hundred soldiers fought valiantly, but were unable to hold their line. However, there bravery bought time for the IDF to regroup and bring reserves down to defend the Sinai.
On Israel’s northeastern border with Syria, the northern line held. But the middle and southern areas of the Golan were overrun. Effy Eitam was a young soldier in the middle area of the Golan. He explained that in dire circumstances, every soldier fights his or her own private war also. He saw soldiers who ran away from difficult situations. He was one of the few who stood strong in the face of an impossible situation. His group also did not succeed in pushing back the enemy. But he helped buy time. And that was all of the difference. Once the reserve soldiers came and counterattacked, Israel turned the tide. Effy Eitam was noted for his bravery and quickly rose in the ranks to be a leading commander in the Israeli Army. He is indeed a modern day hero – in more ways than one.