Wednesday, December 1, 2010

~Day 10~ Steps in the Right Direction

In today's post we are taking a look at a wonderful step that the IDF has taken. The Military has opened its doors to 10 young men with Autism. As volunteers, these soldiers will take their place alongside other Israeli men in supporting the defense of the country they love. The 2 Spies are quite impressed with this positive step forward for the army and for these young men.
Tonight the first candle will be lit. Tomorrow we will return to sharing our celebration of Hanukkah! Hag Sameach everyone!

IDF recruits autistic volunteers

At behest of school for autistic teens, army will place 
10 autistic soldiers in equipment bases
David Regev

Zohar Pe'er, 21, was one of 10 young men to make history Monday by becoming the IDF's first autistic soldiers.
After a short recruitment ceremony, the new soldiers will head to various equipment bases to begin volunteering in their workshops.
"This is great," Zohar, who generally does not express much emotion, whispered as he prepared for the big day. His mother agreed, saying she was waiting expectantly to see her son in uniform.
In recent years the IDF has been enlisting into its ranks more and more diverse populations. A few months ago Yedioth Ahronoth reported that youths suffering from mental disorders can volunteer as well.
The most recent change in policy was brought about by Leah Rabin Middle School in Petah Tikva, which caters to autistic teens. The teachers, who believe their students have much to contribute to the state, appealed to the IDF with the suggestion.
The army decided to take the school up on its offer, and visited the school in order to learn of the special treatment needed for autistic teens. Meanwhile, parents toured the equipment bases at which sons are to serve.
"We learned up close how to communicate with autistic people and cooperate with them so that we can properly escort them through their army service," Captain Moran Cherney-Cohen, who chairs the Central Command's volunteer department.
"It's hard to know what Zohar is feeling ahead of the draft," says his mother, Efrat Etzion-Pe'er. "He doesn't show many signs, but I know he's waiting for the ceremony and wants to wear the uniform."
Meanwhile, Cherney-Cohen says the IDF is prepared to welcome its new recruits. "In addition to professional trainers who will accompany them during their first days, there will also be officers who underwent special training with them at all times," she explained.         Ynet News


  1. December 1st 2010 (10)

    This might seem a strange place to start as we honour those who have set in place humane employment opportunities for those, some would see, as disadvantaged in the land of Israel.

    Way back in 1983 in Bridgend, Sth Wales, with Britain facing the dawn of a second-term of a Conservative Govt. lead by Margaret Thatcher, Neil Kinnock, a young member of the failing Labour Party’s shadow-cabinet, rose to give one of the greatest political speeches of all time.
    "I warn you," he began, "I warn you not to be ordinary. I warn you not to be young. I warn you not to fall ill. I warn you not to get old."
    The words fell on the ears of sympathetic listeners, listeners who only feared for their futures under another term of savage job-cuts, and failing services in industrial areas, such as Sth Wales; areas with it seemed little going for them as Thatcher set about, in her eyes, to rescue Britain by making her industries more competitive. Britain in the late 1970’s onwards was a polarised placed. You either loved her or hated her; there was no middle ground. I have said the above not to endorse one political party or one politician over the other but rather to show that this issue is global and timeless. Both of the major political parties in 1980’s Britain had a vision to rescue the nation from ruin. It simply seemed to come down to which side of the fence you were. In Britain we say, “the haves or have nots.”
    The fact that Zohar Pe'er (21) and nine other autistic young people have joined the IDF in defence of Israel thrills me for everyone can become needy in some area of their lives at sometime after all. In so doing Israel have honoured God for without God in our daily lives, even in politics, whether that politics of the right or left persuasion, it will fail. When we look inward to solve the great needs of our day, or any day, without God we will fail.

    The list of disadvantaged peoples in a society can be endless: the poor, the old, the ill, the orphan, the widow, the sick, the homeless, the alien, the illiterate, the jobless, the young … and so the list continues on and on. But yet scripture continues to admonish us to take care of these and more.

    “ … but during the seventh year let the land lie unploughed and unused. Then the poor among your people may get food from it, and the wild animals may eat what they leave. Do the same with your vineyard and your olive grove.” [Ex 23:11]

    “Do not go over your vineyard a second time or pick up the grapes that have fallen. Leave them for the poor and the alien. I am the LORD your God.” [Lev 19:10]

    “If one of your countrymen becomes poor and is unable to support himself among you, help him as you would an alien or a temporary resident, so he can continue to live among you.” [Lev 25:35]

    "Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.” [Ex 22:22]

    The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. [Lev 19:34]

    "If you lend money to one of my people among you who is needy, do not be like a moneylender; charge him no interest.” [Ex 22:25]

    “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honour.” [1 Sam 2:8]

    “You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.” [Ezk 34:4]

    End of Part 1.
    S Perry, UK <><

  2. S Perry, UK; Part 2:

    Yes, 21stC life is complex; the issues are great and the resources, it seems, are few. Yet I proffer it is no more complex than during any age in the past. What surely is true is that it will be an even more impossible task when we look only to ourselves to meet those needs.

    On Mt Moriah, the Place of Provision, the ram was already in the thicket before Abraham lifted his knife to strike his son. Again, when famine raged in Canaan the good LORD had already favoured and placed Joseph in a place of prominence and influence so his family’s great need could be met. Though the list of the needy apparently grows, thankfully, as we read the pages of scripture, we find countless examples of how the LORD miraculously blessed those who looked to Him, even in the most hopeless of situations.

    Whether today in Britain, the States or in Israel it is only as we look to God that He will return our small offering back to us multiplied. Abraham who placed one son, Isaac, on Moriah’s altar received back a nation more numerous than the stars in the heaven or grains of sand on the sea-shore.

    Zohar Pe'er and his nine friends may be a small start but we can be assured that our LORD will return a blessing upon the nation for Israel have honoured His Word in obedience to it.

    S Perry, UK <><


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