War Stories

June 14, 2024, Israel


Moshe IDF23

Just another Friday, going to the local store to pick up some last-minute items for the Sabbath. In the parking lot, loading his car, I see Zvi G. He is originally from Russia. His son trained with me many years ago. "How is David?" I ask, "Great" says Zvi, "He is in a tank in Gaza at the moment, a real fighter, you should be proud of him."

Yes, I remember him, a little boy, timid, small for his age. Now he is in a tank, defending us against those brutal terrorists who have no morals, an enemy whose cruelty has no bounds. "Send him my best", I say, as I walk into the store and grab a basket.

I see Yaakov, from the USA, his wife is from Brazil, his boys all trained with me, years ago. "How are the boys?" I ask, "Nechemi is now a doctor, he is treating soldiers, and Yoni has been in Gaza from the beginning. On the first day he was shot in the leg, took out a huge chunk. He is Yamam, Special Forces."  Nechemi is Duvdevan, also Special Forces. 

I see another old friend, a mom, her two boys are serving. I trained her kids when they were just in elementary school. And so it goes, one after another, old friends, this one's son is in Yahalom, Combat Engineers, another is the Navy, and yet another is a medic. I know their Krav Maga training prepared them well, helped them grow into warriors. And now they are defending us. 

At the checkout line I speak with a friend of 30 plus years. I sat with him when he mourned for his father, he sat with me when I mourned for my dear mother. We spoke of our common Hungarian background. And I told him, "I read your dad's book about his experiences in Auschwitz, cover to cover". His father was one of the lucky ones, one of 3 siblings who survived out of 11. He came to the USA with nothing, not a word of English, having missed all his high-school years, being in concentration camps rather than at school. He learned English, self-taught, became a professor. Never asked anyone for anything. 

Yitzchak turns to me with sadness and says, "My parents lived through the hell of the Holocaust and now my daughter in-law near the northern border lives with her hand in her mouth in constant fear. When will it ever end? " 

I come home, check my e mails, check Facebook and see Nazi rhetoric coming from Muslim Arabs and Pro "palestine" people from around the world. The hatred is filled with venom, the lies know no shame. The same diabolical charges as always, nothing has changed since the Middle Ages; Jews control the world, even the musician Eric Clapton, who use to perfrom in Israel, came out with THE JEWS control the world. (why was I never invited to a meeting, or let in on this secret?). 

I am proud that my students are combat soldiers, raised to be warriors, the kids I helped raise are now defending us on all fronts. As I get older I can look back and feel I contributed something, but as Yaakov said, "Don't say that! You have a lot more to give".

And yes, every new student is treated as an entire world. Every student is important, and we have only one solution. Fight Back!

We walk the same ground that our ancestors walked, I have seen where young David tended his father's sheep, and I have seen where David fought Goliath. My mother was a direct descendant of King David, buried in Jerusalem. I have seen where the Judeans warriors fought the Romans i the year 70, and where the Harel Brigade and the Jerusalem Brigade fought the Jordanian Legions in 1967. I have been to the Golan Heights were our brave soldiers held off the Syrians in 1973. I have been on top Mount Masada where the last of the warriors held out and fought back. I have seen where the flag of Israel was raised again!

In Blood and Fire Zion fell and in Blood and Fire Zion has arisen. Masada shall not fall again. 

Bring it on, we are ready. The torch has been passed on. 

"and in the end of days there will be two angels holding on to a long rope, and the Jewish people will be holding on for dear life, and the rope will shake, twist and turn, many will give up and many will fall. It will be difficult. I am telling you this so that you shall not give up, so that you shall be strong, so that you shall hold on and see the final redemption."  (spoken many years ago by our rabbis)

We are hanging on. May all our enemies perish. We bow to no man. The nation of Israel lives. 


Moshe Katz, 7th dan Black Belt, Israeli Krav Maga. Certified by Wingate Institute. Member Black Belt hall of fame, USA and Europe.

Understand the Israeli Fighting Mentality - Israel a Nation of Warriors by Moshe Katz


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