The Book of the Week is “A Purity of Arms” by Aaron Wolf, published in 1989. This is a personal account of an American citizen’s experiences in the Israeli army.
The author explains the concept behind the name of the book: a firearm can be a deadly weapon, and it is the belief of many people in the world that God can take a human life. So when a human uses a firearm, he is acquiring a power of God’s. Such power is thus sacred, must be respected and used wisely by humans.
Another concept Wolf relates, expressed in the form of the Hebrew phrases “rosh katan (Rohsh kah-TAHN; “small head”)/rosh gadol (Rohsh gah-DOLE; “large head”). The former waits for instructions from a superior, and does nothing more than he is told. The latter has a proactive, can-do attitude who knows what to do and does it even before he is given any orders.
Wolf describes his military training, and the diverse bunch of fellow soldiers with whom he went on non-stop, days-long, grueling marches. One such serious hike was especially painful for him. Unbenownst to him, his leg was broken. Obviously, he survived to tell the tale.
Read the book to learn more about a military in which every citizen must serve; for, Israel is a country whose very survival is always in danger.