A nation of superheroes

In times of need, everything is left behind and everyone works together to defend the nation.

By Aviel Schneider | | Topics: Gaza
Photo: Shutterstock

“The Bible teacher is basically a commando fighter and the kindergarten teacher is actually an intelligence officer. No one knew that the flamboyant, hi-tech neighbor was a tank company commander, and no one noticed that the contractor in the funny hat who was building the house across the street was a fighter pilot.” Israeli actor Asaf Peri brought it all together in a short presentation of the truths that came to light when hundreds of thousands of Israelis reported for reserve duty overnight.

“That the finely dressed lawyer from the apartment upstairs is serving as an operations officer in a division in the south and the wisecracking grocery store clerk is a sniper who is currently lying on a half-destroyed roof in the Gaza Strip.”

“They say the tough bank branch manager is deputy commander of a Home Front Command battalion overseeing the situation at the Dead Sea hotels, the smiling bus driver commands an artillery battery in the north, and the cute interior designer is now a combat medic in Judea and Samaria.”

“Rumor has it that the shy physics student is actually a soldier in the legendary Shayetet-13 (Israel’s Navy SEALs), carrying out top secret operations. Or maybe he serves in Israel’s elite Sayeret Matkal?”

Illustration. Ayal Margolin/Flash90

Each of us can supply many such examples of what the people around us do when a war breaks out in Israel. A neighbor of mine operates an armored and armed version of the Caterpillar D9 bulldozer. The boy is so small that I can’t imagine him coping with such a monster of a machine in the Gaza Strip. Another neighbor of mine who was constantly arguing with me about parking has been gone for a long time now. He is an officer in the Golani Brigade and is stationed with his soldiers on the northern border. Letting bygones be bygones, we offered our help to his wife Taír if the sirens sounded and she needed anything. She is home alone with two small children. The women and mothers are truly the heroines and “Wonder Women” of this story, because they protect the future of this land and hold the families together. Someone else from my circles, a Middle East political science student, hasn’t been seen for six weeks. I was told that he operates as a Shin Bet (equivalent of the FBI) agent inside the Gaza Strip.

Israeli reserve soldiers during a military exercise in the Golan Heights, northern Israel, on October 29, 2023. Photo: Michael Giladi/Flash90

In times of need, everything is left behind and everyone works together to defend the nation. They look like normal people from the neighborhood, with normal clothes, normal work and normal lives. But it’s all just a cover. Because when the need suddenly arises, they open a hidden closet, a secret drawer or a box under the bed, take out their “super suit” (IDF uniform), and set off to save the world. We may look normal, but in reality we are a nation of superheroes.

This heroism is not necessarily inherent. It is granted. We have a super God who gives us His strength in times of need. Without His fighting spirit and an understanding of the promises that give us a right to live in this land, we could never stand toe-to-toe against the forces of evil and the villains of this world.


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3 responses to “A nation of superheroes”

  1. Lennie Joensen says:

    Fantastic! Then I am correct, when I often refer to the IDF soldiers as ‘Heroes’ in my comments on eg YouTube. I pray for them and the hostages many times a day, but I’m worried about the hostages. I think that Israel should use heavier bombs that flatten the buildings so that no evil Hamas beast can hide on roofs or in windows.
    Am I mean, when I don’t care about civilian Gazan casualties. . ? Only the few 800 Christian’s in Gaza, and the few that help Israel, do I care for.

  2. Susan says:

    Working together for God’s purposes fulfills the commandments to love God above all things and to love our neighbors as ourselves. You paint a beautiful picture of the embodiment of this happening in Israel in the here and now🙌

  3. Masami Cobley says:

    An amusing article to read, but the words “a nation of superheroes” made me cringe. Heroes, superheroes and heroism often become too close to idols and idolatry.

    That was the terrible mistake the then secular government and the secular majority population of Israel made after the Six-Day War in 1967. They did not give glory and thanks to the God of Israel at all, and made the war heroes their idols instead. So, God had to humble His people with the miserable Yom Kippur War in 1973. Please don’t make the same mistake.

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