96-year-old former Lehi fighter promoted to Command Sergeant Major by IDF

Ezra Yakhin, ‘The love of Israel is the power that drives more than any weapon; it operates our weapons in the right way, it will prevail.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Ezra Yakhin, who fought in the Lehi paramilitary organization before the founding of the State of Israel, was promoted by the IDF at the age of 96.

Yakhin, engaged in reserve duty with the IDF Rabbinate, was promoted to Command Sergeant Major in a special ceremony.

Yakhin is involved with the IDF Rabbinate and the Education Corps unit of lecturers called “Torchbearers.”

In the ceremony celebrating his promotion, it was said 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 outbreak of the war between Israel and Hamas on October 7th, Yakhin has been visiting bases and encouraging troops that devotion to Israel will result in victory over terrorist forces.

Yakhin told the B’Sheva newspaper, “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.”

He continued, “I tell them: the more you love the people of Israel and the land of Israel, the more we will win.”

Yakhin explained, “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.”

Yakhin said that before Hamas’s invasion on October 7th, he had a premonition a major war would start.

“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,” he said.

Although he was officially recruited for reserve duty after the outbreak of the war, Yakhin says he feels he has been serving in the IDF all of his life.

“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,”Yakhin cited a lyric from a ehi anthem Chayalim Almonim (Unknown Soldiers).