What is it like as a Jewish Christian in the Israeli Army?

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A lot of people wonder what it’s like serving in the Israeli army as a Christian because obviously Christians are the minority in Israel, and especially in the army as it makes my daily life more challenging.

When I joined the army I decided to not be ashamed of what I believe in because that’s part of me, and if those people around me are my new family then they should accept me the way I am. If not, it’s not my problem, it’s for God to work in them using me. But happily every soldier that has heard that I’m a Christian accepted me. They had a lot of questions, like why do I wake up earlier than the set time and read my bible (in the army sleeping hours are gold).

Many soldiers tried to question my faith by asking “Do you really believe that Jesus walked on water and that He was born to a virgin woman?” I knew that some of them were really curious but some others only asked me to laugh at me so I always answered, “That’s the thing about faith, that you believe in things that you haven’t seen but later on in the future you will see how everything is real and not a joke”.

Many Jewish soldiers can’t understand how I am both Jewish and Christian because for them it’s two different planets. I always tell them that being Jewish and a Christian is the perfect match because the New Testament completes the Old Testament.

During the recent Gaza war my faith was put to test, as every day I heard about soldiers that didn’t make it back, which was difficult to hear right before entering with my platoon.
One of the things that I took with me to the tank was my bible. Inside the dusty tank, whenever I felt down I opened my bible and read as much as I could, even if it was only one verse. My fellow soldiers, of course, wondered what is that book that I’m reading at nights. I was not ashamed to tell them about this great book. They listened, and who knows maybe one day they will find their way to Jesus.

Year after the war, I had a different tank crew and my tank driver told me that he told his parents at home about my faith and how I keep my bible in the tank. He told me that his uncle asked him to go to the tank commander and tell him that they should not let me take my bible into the tank nor should they fight alongside me. My tank driver though did not have any problems with my faith as we were good friends. This is just one story of many others.