IDF Soldiers Speak Out About Celebrating Purim Amid War

IDF Soldiers Speak Out About Celebrating Purim Amid War

‘To me, the answer of whether or not it is appropriate to celebrate this Purim is an easy one. To live is to win.’

By Shula Rosen

The celebration of Purim, a holiday whose hallmark is joy, can be a nuanced occasion for IDF soldiers.

Several soldiers spoke to The Jerusalem Post about their complex feelings about Purim during wartime.

Yair Rudick, IDF reserve soldier, 99th Division discussed the Purim commandment to “Remember Amalek,” the destructive force that in every generation threatens to destroy the Jewish People.

Rudick said that before the war, “I never really paid much attention to the remembrance part.”

He added, “It goes without saying that after 126 days of reserve duty, two months of which were spent in combat in Gaza, I will be acutely aware this year of Purim’s remembrance aspects.”

“The thing is, I don’t want to care about that part, I want to party it up like I do every year or at least like I did until I had two little boys,” he continued.

Rudick said, “But I feel like celebrating Jewish victory and salvation while we’re still fighting is tone-deaf to the all-too-real reality Israelis are living right now.”

“How can we celebrate knowing that there are still hostages being held in Gaza and countless soldiers spending the holiday fighting?,” he asked.

This year, in every way possible, I celebrate Purim as an opportunity to maintain our sacred commandment “to choose life,” Rudick concluded.

Daniel, an IDF soldier in the Kfir Brigade, recalls dressing up as a soldier for Purim, and this holiday, the costume has become a uniform.

“It’s amusing to recall how I once dressed up as a soldier for Purim with immense pride. Now, being a fighter in the battalion feels like coming full circle, reconnecting me with that very child,” Daniel said.

“This year, I find myself in the role of a fighter during Purim, but I approach it with positivity.,” Daniel explained.

“At present, I am stationed in an area within the Judean Desert Brigade, feeling that in addition to celebrating my favorite holiday, I am contributing something meaningful,” he said.

Michael Starr, Jewish World & Diaspora Affairs Correspondent and IDF reserve soldier felt the choice of how to celebrate Purim during the war was clear.

“To me, the answer of whether or not it is appropriate to celebrate this Purim is an easy one. To live is to win,” he said.

Starr added, “I took off my IDF uniform only a few weeks ago, but I know that victory doesn’t just come on the battlefield, it comes from being able to live our lives in spite of Hamas.”

“So, instead of a uniform I’m going to wear a costume, drink, and remember Mordechai and the soldiers fighting, because to live is to win,” he concluded.

Bring Purim Joy to Israeli Victims of War and Terror

Join us in providing Israeli victims of war and terror with much needed comfort, blessing and holiday joy.

Families have been destroyed by the horrific Hamas massacre of October 7th and ongoing terror and rockets attacks. There are so many orphans that need our love, compassion and support!

Brighten their Purim holiday by sending Purim food baskets, yummy treats, personal notes and toys for the children.






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