Mazal Tov to Sharon and Herzl HaLevy, Israel’s New Chief of Staff

Mazal Tov to Sharon and Herzl HaLevy, Israel’s New Chief of Staff

Mazal tov to the IDF’s new Chief of Staff, Herzl HaLevy, and (as seen looking over the Kotel’s mehitza at yesterday’s swearing-in ceremony) his wife Sharon.
The new Chief of Staff is the grandson of Rav Avraham Yitzhak Kook’s sister, Tzila.

I loved reading in YNet about HaLevy’s first command position, as assistant commander of “The Nic-Pic Gang” along with some of his 4th-grade classmates at his religious elementary school in Jerusalem’s Ramot Eshkol neighborhood.
This article by Gilad Cohen and Coreen Elbaz Alush taught me that children’s games can lead to great things!

“A little over 40 years ago, when he was 9 years old, Herzi Halevi, the incoming IDF Chief of Staff,
took on his very first position of command.
A group of “soldiers” from his 4th grade class at Jerusalem’s Pardes school appointed him the deputy commander of the gang. There were 15 members in the group and they named themselves “Nic-Pic.”
Alongside Deputy Halevi, the commanding staff included the
commander of the group, Oded Orenstein (later to become the CEO of Elbit systems), Avi Pikar (future professor at Bar-Ilan university) and Eyal Gabai (future CEO of the Prime- Minister’s Office).
That same group spent a lot of time reading books like “The Secret Seven” and went on
a lot of adventures in the valley to the north of their Jerusalem neighborhood.
They would climb the mountains, go into the nearby cave, and even made a makeshift gun out of
“One day, on one of our trips, someone decided that they saw a terrorist in the cave,” explained
Pikar, a childhood friend of Halevi and the commander of the group.
“The next day we decided to go look for the terrorist and told our parents that we were planning a class picnic. That cover story is what inspired us to name the group “Nic-Pic.”
We met once a week and
looked for the terrorist. We had a whole story about how he’d built a home-base in that cave and was planning terror attacks in there. We imagined that if we caught him we’d be heroes and they’d even write about us in the newspaper,” said Pikar with a smile.”

This article made me look very differently at the games and adventures of my young kids!

May Herzl HaLevy be blessed with much success and Divine Assistance in his new position protecting Israel!

*Translation by Albina Ginzburg


  1. Our children grew up on The Secret Seven books (and other Enid Blyton books) so I especially enjoyed this piece. Thank you for wishing a Mazal tov to Mrs. HaLevy as well. It is so important to recognize that husbands and wives accomplish together, no matter which role either is emphasizing.

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