“The American Girl in the Bunker”

The author and a fellow soldier (Photo: Talia Lefkowitz)

Talia Lefkowitz is a volunteer from New York in an IDF paratrooper unit. She currently lives in Israel, on a base between Sinai and Gaza, where she says it feels very much like a war zone. The past week of Hamas rocket fire shook her bunker, and her sense of safety. Talia writes of the experience for Tablet:

Our rooms on the base are similar to a caravan. The walls are thin, and the ceiling is just weak metal. Our beds are made of thin pieces of steel, and the mattress is a smelly egg-crate that has probably been slept on for over 20 years. When soldiers are not on missions, they are doing exactly what the movies portray: playing cards, smoking cigarettes, lifting dumbbells, making coffee on a little gas stove. Three days ago we were just minding our business when we heard a huge explosion that literally shook the ground. I know the floor moved because our coffee spilled.

I didn’t think it could be a rocket or bomb because the warning siren, the tzeva adom, had not sounded. We all ran out to see what the noise was all about, and in the distance, maybe 2 kilometers away, we could see the telltale plume of smoke.

Seconds later, the siren rang and we all ran to the nearest shelter. The shelter is windowless. The room is built to hold 30 people, but somehow we managed to squeeze 70 inside. Luckily there was air conditioning, but it leaked everywhere and no matter where we sat, our bodies were splattered. People were pushing themselves up against the bunker walls to make room for the latecomers. In this chaos, it was my job to get a head count of my whole unit and make sure everyone had made it.

After three hours, we were told by the head of the base’s intelligence that it was safe to leave. It wasn’t for long, though. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! Three more rockets fell minutes later, this time even closer to us. The tzeva adom rang, but there was no time to find safety. Two seconds after the siren’s scream we felt the earth shake beneath our feet. We were totally vulnerable.

Despite the chaos, and sometimes fear, Talia is proud to be serving in the IDF, and honored to be protecting the Jewish state. Read the rest of her story here.

 


Author: Stand For Israel | June 29, 2012
Posted in:  Uncategorized


 

What do you think?

  • Katie
    November 13, 2012
    9:55 pm
     

    May God remain Israel`s protection and strength, no matter what happens. May God bless and keep watch over those who protect her.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Nancy
    July 12, 2012
    11:08 am
     

    I will pray and support Israel with my tithes. I know God will honor that. I can’t fight for real as I am 61 now and it would have to be a sneak attach so I would have to be real sneaky!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Karl
    July 5, 2012
    10:30 am
     

    I was in a war once it is terrible. I know what it is when bombs fall around you. All I can say Israel keep your eyes on Jesus everything will be allright Shalom my Israel friends

    Reply to this comment »
  • Ken
    July 3, 2012
    10:35 am
     

    Thank you Talia for your service to God and Israel. As Jody said, where do we sign up? Seriously. There are many American veterans in this country with combat and technical experience who would love to serve a very noble cause again. If the IDF will take a middle-aged, Christian, former special operator…I’m there. Anyone have info? Thanks.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Rebecca
    July 1, 2012
    7:36 pm
     

    I am a Christian from NY, and I always pray for Isreal. May God, always give Isreal victory against her enemies. Keep up the good work, may God keep you and protect you. God Bless you.

    From: A Fellow New Yorker.
    Pastor: Rebecca Silva
    Shalom

    Reply to this comment »
  • Jerry
    July 1, 2012
    4:41 pm
     

    Iam very much willing to fight for israel if I had the opportunity. I worship the same God of Israel and willing to sacrifice my life to protect Gods chosen people the decendants of Jesus the son of the one and only one Living God who creat us.

    Reply to this comment »
  • cally
    June 30, 2012
    12:45 am
     

    praying god keeps his his hand on ya’ll.. and safe in his arms…

    Reply to this comment »
  • Cindy
    June 29, 2012
    3:41 pm
     

    You are so brave. I’m proud of the Americans who are willing to stand up for Israel. I am praying for your safety and for the safety of those you defend.

    Reply to this comment »
  • JOHN
    June 29, 2012
    3:02 pm
     

    I feel a Spence of pride the pride that must be felt by the people serving Israel in her time of need…I wish I were younger I would like to also volunteer for this cause…but at 55 not likely

    Reply to this comment »
  • Jeff
    June 29, 2012
    2:15 pm
     

    Thank for people like you that we surrender yourself to help the people of Israel. May God truly bless you and keep you safe, and may God bless all of Israel.

    Reply to this comment »
  • shirley
    June 29, 2012
    2:02 pm
     

    You are very brave. I pray God will protect u & keep
    Israel from harm. God has Israel under his protection
    The people of America stand with Israel in their continued effort for peace

    Reply to this comment »
  • Jody
    June 29, 2012
    1:59 pm
     

    Where do I sign up? I’m 40 years old have served in the U.S. military. Will fight for Isreal for my GOD.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Malcolm
    June 29, 2012
    1:42 pm
     

    And what is Obamas response or Clintons response to almost a daily rocket or motar attacks into Southern Israel????? Nothing But when Israel says enough and blows up the terrorists sudden he finds his voice and says you must find a peacefull solution. Maybe it would be diff. if Mexico was firing rockets into Washington DC. But with this guy who knows. I wonder what America would do if the countries around her were heavily armed camps with people that hate her and wanted to kill every Jew or Christian?

    Reply to this comment »
    • Philip
      July 3, 2012
      7:30 am
       

      There is never any media coverage of the rocket and mortar attacks which hit Israel every day. Europe, the U.S., and all the Western Powers don’t seem to care about aggression by Hamas, nor do they care about the terrorization of Israeli towns such as Sderot.

      Reply to this comment »
  • Jerry
    June 29, 2012
    12:55 pm
     

    I know you are going thru hard&troublesome times but you are not alone, you have christians freinds who are praying for all Israel and you have our support, God bless you.

    Reply to this comment »
  • ronnie
    June 29, 2012
    12:42 pm
     

    Thank you Talia. May Yashem keep you safe.So proud of the IDF

    Reply to this comment »

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Rabbi's Commentary
The Rabbi Recommends: Rebbe, by Joseph Telushkin

Rarely do I recommend a book with the exuberance and enthusiasm I do today. The author of Rebbe, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, was my roommate in Yeshiva Seminary when I studied for semicha, or ordination, there. He was then, and remains today, a dear friend whom I admire and deeply respect.


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