A conversation with my oldest daughter (going to be 7 in one week):
Bed-time. Neomi is lying in bed. I am doing the dishes. Suddenly she is calling me.
"Ima, I don't want to go to the army."
"Well, Neomi- there are still many years before you will have to go to the Army."
(In Israel men and women have to join the Army at the age of 18. Men for 3 years, women for 2 years)
"But I don't want to go." (she's clearly disturbed by this thought)
"Why don't you want to go?"
"Well, that's not a reason. You need a good reason in order NOT to join to the army."
She's quiet for a while. "I don't want to be shot at."
"That's a very good reason. I don't want to be shot at either. I also don't want to shoot at someone. But you know that there are also other jobs in the army. You can work in an office for example."
"And this is a safe place?"
"Yes, pretty much."
(Is there a safe place in a war? But no need to scare her more…)
She's quiet for a while and I continue my work.
Then she sais:
"Ima, I wish we could live in peace with everyone."
"Oh, my dear, I wish that too."
"I will dream now that we will live in peace with everyone."
"That's a great dream!"
Oh my sweet little girl. Why do we even need to have discussions like this? I know she will probably join the army anyway because that's just what you do here and all her friends will do so too. It is a place that is bonding the society together. But I wish there would be no need for armies. This is maybe naïve, I know, but I can still dream.