A Few Good (IDF) Men To Celebrate This Father’s Day

The father is the protector of the family. This Father’s Day, thousands of Jewish fathers won’t celebrate with their own children, as they protect the Jewish homeland, which ultimately is a protection for all Jews. Last year we featured A Few Good Orthodox Men on Father’s Day, as Orthodox men are often represented in media as misogynistic and controlling of their wives and families. This year, we decided to also include IDF soldiers, as media represents them as bloodthirsty baby killers. 

Michal Zmora, wife of Arnon, who died last week during the rescue of four hostages, wrote, “Long before he was a warrior and a hero, he was a sweet and charming man. An amazing partner, a perfect father. A loving and beloved man. That’s how we’ll remember him, and I’d love for you to too.”

Yoni Belzberg

My husband Yoni is the number one father. He is an ultra-orthodox IDF soldier. He sees it as the greatest mitzvah and honor to protect the Jewish people and defend our homeland.

We were in Florida on October 7th and as soon as he found out what was going on he booked a flight and left for Israel the next day. 

I am so proud and lucky to be his wife and my kids are so lucky to have the best father.

Yoni is so kind, sensitive and caring. He listens to our kids tell stories from their days in school. He loves getting the kids involved in activities like helping him build stuff around the house etc. We all know little kids can’t really be helpful but he likes giving the kids the good feeling of helping. 

Yoni always has speakers with music going and he makes sure the music is appropriate for the time. On Fridays he’ll play songs about Shabbos while we’re cooking and getting ready so we get into the mood. If there’s a holiday coming he’ll make a playlist for the holiday. 

We’ve been apart for 20 Shabbosim (Sabbaths) and that has been so difficult for all of us. On Shabbos Yoni goes over with each kid what they learned in school. He goes to shul with our six-year-old and we sing lots of zemiros (songs) at the Shabbos table. Shabbos and holidays are family time so his presence is missed the most.

Since he left I had to learn to take out the garbage, wash the dishes, and even change lightbulbs. In our house those are Abba’s jobs. I’ve had to make difficult decisions on my own since he was often not available to discuss things with me. 

The hardest part for Yoni in this war is leaving me and the kids. When the war started we didn’t see him for a whole month but now we get a visit every two weeks or so. When he comes home the kids jump on top of him and are so happy to see him. When he leaves they cry and say “please don’t go.” That’s the hardest part for him. 

Yoni has been fighting for almost 200 days so far. Thank God he finished this round of fighting in Gaza. He is ready to go and fight with Hezbollah in Lebanon whenever he is called. He is motivated by a love for the Jewish people and for Israel.

Moshe Lehmann

He is involved. It doesn’t matter what is going on he could have just walked in from Gaza or from work, it doesn’t matter. He is immediately hands on showing the kids and myself that we are his priority. That everything he does is for us. Moshe helps balance myself and the kids out. When we are wild and crazy, he is able to establish calm. He is able to listen and sit with our kids when they are hurt or just want to share with him about their day. He is playful and almost always just as excited to play with our kids as they are to play with him. When Moshe is with the kids, it is almost as if there is nothing else in the world. He gives them his full attention. I’m not sure what Moshe will say to this but another reason he is a good parent is because he doesn’t just instruct our children as to what our values are, he truly lives them out. For example, my son who is almost four goes to shul for davening every Shabbat and has been doing so since he was born. We know that the best chinuch that we can give our children is by showing them how much we love Hashems Torah and how dedicated we are to Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael. This year more than any other Moshe has demonstrated his commitment to these values and has given our children such an incredible amount of pride in Am Yisrael and our Torah.

Wow I am missing my best friend. My partner in all things. Someone who is in the thick of it with me. We really do/did split things around the house and with the kids almost 50/50, so the fact that I’m the one that has to do the dishes and take out the trash while he’s in Gaza is definitely up there on my least favorite things. But truly, I miss him seeing our kids get bigger and learn about the world. Right before the war broke out, the day before actually, our daughter started taking her first steps… then by the time Moshe was discharged she had been walking for 4.5 months. While it’s important for us to keep a routine and structure even when he’s gone, every time that he is we notice how integral he is.

Well we’re yekkim so on Shabbat we wash first before kiddush. We also have the special minhag of doing a wimple, instead of having an upshirun. We did this over the summer and it was so special to see our son get an Aliyah to the Torah and to wrap the wimple around the Torah. We also do “snuggle minute” before bedtime and “family snuggle”.

Just being a role model. I do kiddush and motzei and all that, but most of my job is to be a role model. Shul and being active in the Jewish community is really important to me. I try to sit and learn with them and show them how beautiful our traditions are.

I love to take our kids to the pool and read with them.

Yakir Hyman

Yakir is an incredible father, who encourages his children’s talents and commits his life to making sure they have what they need.

He loves to get them cracking up around the Shabbat table, and when they were little he would wrap them up in a towel after the bath like a burrito and pretend to try to eat them which they loved.

Yakir packs the kids lunches every morning with a little hand-drawn picture featuring a stick figure version of each kid. He loads the dishwasher every night. He is incredibly involved in their day to day and gets offended when he isn’t automatically added to the class and camp Whatsapp groups like I am.

When Yakir can tell a child is going through something, he’ll take that one aside and attend to their emotional needs. He’s a great listener.

When he’s away, the kids miss his smile, his hugs, his kisses, and his involvment in their schooling and afterschooling activities.

If I could give Yakir any father’s day gift, I would give him a personal vacation, with lots of time to focus on himself and what he’s been through and how to best integrate that with civilian life.

On October 7th, instead of celebrating his birthday, Yakir was called up to make sure the Shomron and its surrounding areas were safe after so many on-duty soldiers were sent to the Gaza border. His unit did such exceptional work to combat terrorism in the region that the residents didn’t want them to ever leave.

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  • Avatar photo Yael says on July 1, 2024

    This is incredible. Thank you Allison.


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