As I sit here, watching my younger brother’s induction ceremony into Garin Tzabar, a pre-army prep program for foreigners hoping to join the Israeli Defense Forces, I’m battling a variety of emotions – pride, anxiety, fear, awe. When Koby first made this decision, it was incomprehensible to me. As someone whose connection to Israel was never the expression of my Judaism and Jewish identity, Koby’s decision was incredibly difficult for me to accept. Why did he have to go thousands of miles away and join a foreign army? Well, for him, this was his expression of his Jewish identity, and connection to the Jewish people. And while I chose to find myself through social action and community building, he chose to find himself through a connection to Israel.
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