Capt. Ziv Shilon: A Portrait of Unselfishness

by | Feb 8, 2013 | Israel & Jewish Roots, Standing With Israel

Years ago as a young believer, I remember hearing a pastor compare ‘self-focus’ to cancer. After all, he reasoned, cancer is the body turning in on itself; attacking its own cells.

Self-focus is much the same, looking only inwardly, consumed only with one’s own needs, one’s own wants, and thus breeding a life of selfishness.

Carrying the metaphor forward, if self-focus leads to death … then serving others, one must conclude, leads to life. Yeshua said it best:

“He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” (John 12:25) and “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:13)

Even 12-step programs use this as one of their keys to overcoming addictions; that is, to serve others struggling with the same addiction, by sharing all that you yourself have learned.

A Real Life Hero

There is a remarkable video I came across recently, put out by the Israeli Defense Forces.

It’s a video of Capt. Ziv Shilon, an IDF platoon commander who was severely wounded while on routine patrol near the Israeli-Gaza border in October of 2012. Shilon survived the attack, but his hands were permanently mangled.

In his speech to fellow soldiers, delivered during a special ceremony, he says: “You are required, as a handful of our best sons, to take a break from your lives and give of yourselves, all for one purpose: that the State of Israel, the Jewish State, will continue to exist, and things like the Holocaust and anti-Semitism will never happen again. ‘He who neither slumbers nor sleeps will guard over Israel’ (Psalm 121:4). My dear soldiers, rise up and succeed, congratulations and thank you for an incredible time.”

His words left me in awe. This is the opposite of selfishness. This is selflessness. This is service and love in action.

Just the Opposite

On any day, Captain Shilon’s story should reduce us to tears. But today, it struck me even more powerfully because of recent comments by some other Israelis in the news, lately. Namely, some in the ultra-orthodox community.

Most estimates put the number of ultra-orthodox at about 10 percent of Israel’s population of around eight million. That would mean about 800,000 men, women and children who are a part of a community who believe that studying the Torah and other books such as the Talmud and Mishnah is more important than anything else in life. The words of their rabbis on how to live every moment of every day of their lives, takes precedence to anything and everything else.

That includes service to the nation of Israel.

Tens of thousands of those in the ultra-orthodox community do not take part in Israel’s mandatory military service. That mandatory service is supposed to include three years of military service for men and two years for women. Unless some sort of medical condition prevents you from doing so, all Israeli citizens are required by law to carry out this service.

In 1949, a law was passed, allowing a few hundred rabbinical students to study, rather than serve. Since then, due to the political clout of ultra-orthodox lawmakers, that number has ballooned to include nearly all able-bodied orthodox men.

Last year, Israel’s Supreme Court finally struck down that law, but cowardly lawmakers have still yet to enforce the court’s ruling.

Why Does This Matter?

Immediately after the Supreme Court’s ruling, ultra-Orthodox leader Meir Porush, a former lawmaker, said drafting ‘his people’ would unleash a “civil war.”

And the rhetoric doesn’t stop there, as the Jerusalem Post reported only two weeks ago:

Shas chairman Eli Yishai, meanwhile, told Army Radio that he was adamant that his party would not compromise on its core values, which include allowing yeshiva students to continue their studies in lieu of IDF service.

”We would never agree to the Plesner recommendations,” Yishai said, referencing the Kadima party’s unsuccessful 2012 attempt to resolve the issue of ultra-Orthodox enlistment. “It’s not realistic to come and say we will draft everybody. The haredim will come as one and say ‘we’ll go to jail.’”

We’ll got to jail, he says! We’ll go to jail?!

These are the words of an Israeli political leader? A deputy Prime Minister in the last government?

I would argue that these are the words of a selfish man.

The end of Israel

Why should only ultra-orthodox students get to study, rather than serve in the military? Why didn’t Capt. Shilon’s parents get that option?

What would become of the nation of Israel, if all its citizens had this attitude? If all demanded to get to study, while living on taxpayer welfare, rather than serving a few years in the IDF?

What would become of Israel? … Capt. Shilon already told us:

“You are required, as a handful of our best sons, to take a break from your lives and give of yourselves, all for one purpose: that the State of Israel, the Jewish State, will continue to exist, and things like the Holocaust and anti-Semitism will never happen again.”

Selfishness can be the downfall of one’s own life. And selfishness can just as easily be the downfall of an entire nation.

Please join us in prayer that the selfish will not prevail in fragile Israel, that instead we’ll be a nation of servants … like Capt. Shilon.

“But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43-45)

Chaim Goldberg is the Director of Media of Maoz Israel.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

How Prophetic Evangelism Is Impacting Change in Today’s Culture

Dr. Candice Smithyman, host of Manifest His Presence on the Charisma Podcast Network, recently interviewed apostle Stacey Campbell, founder of Shiloh Global about how prophecy can impact today’s culture. Apostle Campbell is passionate about teaching young people and...

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

Joyce Meyer’s Daughter: ‘I Tried Until I Almost Died!’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xc14ip0XyOw Growing up as the daughter of Dave and Joyce Meyer, Sandra McCollom knew about God’s goodness and unconditional love. “At eight years old, I remember sitting on the floor as my mom shared her faith with me. That’s when I...

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

Prophet: 10 Essential Guardrails for Hearing God’s Voice

In the journey of hearing God's voice today effectively and accurately, you need the practical and personal work of the Holy Spirit. Jesus clearly told his followers that those who hear His words and put them into practice are wise! "Whoever hears these sayings of...

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Prophetic Vision: Three Tables Are Set

Recently as I was worshipping the Lord, I went into a vision where I could see I was in a dark and very deep valley. It was nighttime, and the valley was surrounded by tall mountains. On the top of each I could see the outlines of men and instinctively knew they were...

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

How Your Apostolic and Prophetic Worship Will Hurt the Enemy

We are living in a time where it seems that dreams and visions are accelerating. The enemy fights against prophetic insight being poured out according to Joel 2:28-32. Numerous deliverance ministries have risen up to combat the ‘Pandora's box’ that was released in...

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

RECENT ARTICLES

Cindy Jacobs Prophesies: The Lord Says, ‘Am I Not the Mender of Broken Hearts?’

I was just praying and asking the Lord, “How can I encourage you all today?” I know there are so many challenges out there, but this is what the Lord said to me. The Lord said, “There are some...
How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]