OUR PRIDE

The IDF is honoring its heroes from last summer's Lebanon War, and so some of the bravest are being featured in the media. The small sketches I offer here are evidence sure and clear of the caliber of the Israeli people. They are the best.

Dr. Yehuda David, 53, an orthopedic surgeon , was on vacation when the war broke out. A major in the reserves, he hurried back and contacted the IDF. He is now being honored for his consistent dedication and self-sacrifice. He spent the entire war inside of Lebanon, carrying his 60 kg. pack -- filled with medical supplies -- on his back wherever he went; he treated some 50 soldiers.

"I sign on for volunteer service," he said, "since if the soldiers are willing to give everything they can, I am also willing to give everything I can. After 2000 years in exile it is an honor to serve in the IDF."

On the Friday night before one of the war's biggest battles, at Saluki, he assembled his battalion and suggested they light candles and recite the Shema before heading out to fight.

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Erez Ramati, also a doctor, was with his battalion at Saluki as well. He and his medics were treating the wounded from his battalion when he was informed that soldiers from another company also needed help. To get to them he had to run through an open area, directly exposed to Hezbollah fire.

"There was no time for hesitating," he explained, since there were people who were wounded and they needed me. This was not about heroism or bravery but about doing what you need to do."

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