WHEN Australian lone soldier Alec Sachs (second from left) received the text message from a fellow officer which invited him to the succah at the home of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on erev Succot, “he reacted in the low key way for which he is known”, shared mother, Gayle Sachs.
Photos have since appeared across Israeli media of Alec, a Givati Brigade Sergeant, together with two other lone soldiers Corporal Aleksandra Vodenskov (left) of the Jordan Valley Brigade and combat engineer Sergeant Eddie Laufer (right) sharing in the Succot merriment with Bibi.
Netanyahu listened to the soldiers’ personal stories and talked with them about their service in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). He then surprised their families with FaceTime calls, wishing them chag sameach.
“We weren’t expecting a call from the [Israeli] Prime Minister as we sat down in our succah in Melbourne!” said Gayle.
Netanyahu said, “There are three soldiers here who immigrated to Israel from Australia, Ukraine and Italy to serve in the IDF.
“I told them that the four species [four plants which are central to the rituals of the holiday] symbolise the unity of the Jewish people — the unity of the people and the unity that we need so much in the country.”
Netanyahu added, “I would like to take this opportunity to again wish a good year to all citizens of Israel and to the soldiers — men and women — who are serving and defending our state around the clock, not just on holidays.”