In a moving and candid video recorded at Midron Yaffo Park in Tel Aviv on December 12, 2023, Yair Levi, a former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Major and a reservist in the Israeli equivalent of the Navy SEALs, shared his profound experiences from the frontlines of conflict. Holding his guitar, a symbol of his dual identity as a musician and soldier, Levi recounted the realities of war and his commitment to his nation’s defense.
During the recent conflict, Levi described the heightened tension and fear that permeated Israeli streets, as Israeli Arabs began targeting individuals in uniform or those appearing Jewish. His immediate reaction was to protect his family, instructing them to stay indoors while he vigilantly guarded their home.
Levi addressed the controversial use of human shields, a tactic he witnessed firsthand. He recounted how enemy forces would send children into the streets before opening fire from concealed locations. While acknowledging that some people were coerced into these roles, he also noted that others volunteered, presenting a complex and harrowing battlefield scenario.
Avoiding Civilian Casualties
Emphasizing the moral and ethical standards ingrained in Israeli soldiers from a young age, Levi affirmed their commitment to avoiding civilian casualties. He expressed pride in the IDF’s conduct, especially in special operations units like his own, where he observed high levels of motivation and unity among troops from diverse backgrounds.
The Importance of Christian Support of Israel
Levi also spoke about the broader international context, highlighting the support he has seen from the Christian community worldwide. He stressed the importance of this support, particularly as Israel faces increasing external pressure and potential calls for military restraint. He urged friends and allies abroad to help by sharing the truth about the situation and influencing decision-makers in their respective countries.
Yair Levi’s testimony not only sheds light on the complexities of modern warfare but also illustrates the challenging balance he maintains as an artist, advocate, and soldier. His plea for understanding and support goes beyond political discourse, appealing to a sense of shared humanity and the need for honest representation of events on the ground.
Yair Sings A Blessing
Yair Levi then offered a heartfelt rendition of a sacred prayer, resonating with the historical and contemporary struggles of his people. Standing with his guitar in hand, he introduced the prayer “El Na Refa Na La,” a plea for healing that Moses once uttered for his sister, Miriam. In a solemn and emotive tone, Yair extended this ancient supplication beyond its traditional context, dedicating it to the soldiers and the injured around Gaza. Encouraging the audience to join him, he gently guided them through the simple, yet profound, five words of the prayer. His voice, imbued with sincerity and hope, became a bridge connecting the past and present, invoking divine intervention for peace and healing in a land long familiar with conflict.
Pastor Nathan Herrington Prays for Yair
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Joshua Swanson is the Editor-in-Chief of Worship Leader. He's also the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Authentic Media, Worship Leader's parent company, and the former CEO and Co-founder of the creative agency GTMA. His proudest achievement is his marriage to Rachael Joy and partnering with her in founding New Hope Children. As a performer and speaker, he’s appeared on TV networks like ABC, NBC, Lifetime, and Hallmark. His companies have worked with major brands like Sprint, Pokemon Go (he was also in a Pokemon movie), Pepsi, The Latin Grammys, the Billboard Awards, Corona and over 75 national developers. He’s narrated over a hundred audiobooks and was awarded Best YA Voice twice. His companies have been Inc. 5000 three different times.