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IDF Honors 96-Year-Old Veteran with Promotion, Celebrating His Lifelong Service

Ezra Yakhin's Promotion Celebrates His Legacy and Encouragement to Soldiers.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has promoted Ezra Yakhin, a 96-year-old veteran, to Command Sergeant Major in a special ceremony. Yakhin, who fought in the Lehi paramilitary organization before the founding of the State of Israel, continues to inspire troops with his lifelong dedication.

Currently engaged in reserve duty with the IDF Rabbinate, Yakhin also participates in the Education Corps unit known as “Torchbearers.” His recent promotion highlights his enduring influence and contributions to the IDF. During the ceremony, it was noted that Yakhin "lit a torch on the last Independence Day, leaving a mark on the younger generation of fighters with his combat heritage."

Since the war between Israel and Hamas erupted on October 7th, Yakhin has been visiting military bases, offering encouragement and emphasizing the importance of devotion to Israel for achieving victory over terrorist forces. In an interview with B’Sheva newspaper, Yakhin shared, "I appear before soldiers, clarify the situation for them, encourage them, and tell them how in our time we won with the self-sacrifice and the love of Israel."

Yakhin passionately believes in the power of love for Israel. He stated, "The love of Israel is the power that drives more than any weapon; it operates our weapons in the right way, it will prevail. Rise with the love of Israel and the love of the land of Israel and defeat the enemy and save Israel."

Remarkably, Yakhin had a premonition about the conflict before Hamas’s invasion on October 7th. He revealed, "In the last month before the war, I hadn’t missed any news article because I felt it was going to start. I understood what our government, the politicians, and the media didn’t understand."

Although officially called up for reserve duty after the war began, Yakhin feels his service to the IDF has been lifelong. He remarked, "I was called up on the second day. Since the age of 15, when I joined the Lehi, until today, I have been enlisted for the sake of the people of Israel. Only death releases me from service," citing a lyric from the Lehi anthem "Chayalim Almonim" (Unknown Soldiers).

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