Training in the bitter cold

Monday, February 08, 2016 |  Anat Schneider

It was freezing outside as we communicated with Moran via our family's WhatsApp group.

My son Moran is someone that has always endured the cold without discomfort. Since he was a young boy he liked to lie on the floor in order to cool down.

While everybody was warmly wrapped in sweaters and jackets during the winter, he would be wearing shorts. He would usually comment how warm it was.

A couple of Shabbats ago, when he returned home, he expressly stated, "I do not like winter!"

The week that followed, Israel was enveloped by an unusually cold spell and the temperatures dropped below freezing.

He and his whole unit were in the field training during that whole week.

They were out in the field exposed to the elements without tents, without warm jackets, no hot showers and without hot food.

In the howling wind and freezing rain they slogged on with their training.

All honor to those kids who, just a year ago, were spoiled high school scholars who got up to the usual mischief.

Here they are, having matured enormously from teenagers to IDF combat soldiers full of discipline, understanding the responsibility entrusted to them of defending the country and her citizens.

"What a man he has become!" says everybody.

But for me as a mother it is not always easy. I want my 19 year-old son at home! I would like him to remain a child for another couple of years. The transformation from child to soldier has been so sudden and drastic.

What choice do I have?

But to sit in a cosy home and pray that as he and his soldier buddies sleep on the cold earth, it will only be in training.

That they will return home healthy, safe and sound is the prayer of mothers and fathers.

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