Over the years, the Israel Defense Force’s (IDF) humanitarian aid has served as a source of relief for people all over the world. When countries have been struck by natural disasters, the IDF regularly lends a helping a hand and has sent delegations of medical and rescue staff to those places. The delegations consist mostly of specially trained reserve soldiers from the IDF’s Search and Rescue Unit.
Recently a unique cookbook "The Taste of Life" was launched. The cookbook contains 124 recipes collected over six years from the kitchens of 123 bereaved mothers and one bereaved father who selected their fallen sons' favorite dishes. "The Taste of Life" revives the memories and describes the heartbreaking conflicts of bereaved parents. It's a book full of yearning, longing and love.
There is currently a debate whether young Israeli soldiers receive enough money during their compulsory army service. Every man has to serve for three years and every woman for two years. The only exceptions are the Arab population (Christian and Moslem, but not Druze) and married or pregnant women. Service was not compulsory for orthodox Jews for a long time. A law passed in March 2014 it illegal for orthodox Jews to refuse the draft and set off protests of hundreds of thousands of orthodox Jews across Israel with the largest protests in Jerusalem.