One of the highlights of visiting Israel with me as your tour guide of Israel is not hearing me speak at all. What do you mean, Kobi? Why would we pay you not to speak?
The truth is, like any tour guide, I can be guilty of loving to hear the sound of my own voice. I also recognize - as someone who has been on tours in over 35 countries around the world - that if someone listened to the same person speak day in and day out, it might get a bit tedious. As such, I always make sure to include - if you so choose - a number of incredible people for you to meet along the way. One of them is the fantastic Yaakov Selavan.
Yaakov is a IDF tank major (in reserves) who lives on the Golan Heights and in addition to working as a motivational speaker for the IDF, he also runs security seminars on the border with Syria (and Gaza). In addition, he has created on the Golan, at a battle site of his own unit in the Yom Kippur War, an escape room in an old bunker, which is based on the story that he tells there. And this story - about that battle in the Yom Kippur War - is one of the greatest stories you have ever heard. And Yaakov tells it magnificently [the escape room is lots of fun as well and a great incentive for younger people to listen to his talk].
Get to know Yaakov a bit in this clip below, which he gave in February during a US speaking tour, just before the coronavirus hit. In it he jokes about the situation on the Golan in 2018 (before the Syrian government retook control of the Syrian side of the border). It may be our reality, but we don't take &%*# from nobody and we are not scared and are definitely not going to run away. That being said, not everyone quite gets our reality, our resolve or our humor. They also don't get that things are much safer here than how it is presented on the news. Despite our lovely neighbors to the north, we have had only one casualty on our side during the decade-long Syrian Civil War. With that being said, listen to Yaakov's story. You'll see why I love including him on my Israel tour itineraries.
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