Dec. 30, 2008. Last night was the 8th and final night of Chanukah. I had been sent to a nearby base for preparation. While organizing and checking equipment I looked up to the sound of music. I laughed with surprise as the world-famous Chabad Chanukah mobile arrived, complete with a giant, glowing Chanukiah. There, amidst incoming bombs and alarms, with soldiers scurrying to and fro with machine guns and missile launchers, they started passing out Psalms, prayer books, Chanukah goodies, etc. And after days of eating tuna and Loof, the value of Chanukah doughnuts and chocolate skyrockets. (For those of you who don't know what Loof is, you are better off not knowing...)

And then the soldiers started dancing with more energy than I had ever seen at any wedding or Bar Mitzvah. Maybe it was because they knew that it might be their last dance.

I looked on the whole scene and smiled. It was nice to know we were not alone. In that place I realized more than ever before what a unique place Israel is, and that the Jewish people working together is an amazing thing.

So I feel myself qualified to say on behalf of Paratroopers 890, Thanks, Chabad! Y'all made our night.