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Old 04-08-2010, 11:08 AM
bmendales bmendales is offline
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Default some thoughts

Couldn't agree more with everything that's been said here. Just a few things to add.

Be sure of your motivations for everything. is it to be hardcore and take pictures of yourself with a gun? Or are you prepared, at 24 years of age to suck it up and take orders from a 19 year old kid a year out of his own basic training, and surrounded by 18 year old kids of varying maturity, to stand guard 4 on 4 off, or 8 on 8 off, to get time off maybe once a month, and most importantly, to be extremely bored and tired most of the time?

It is possible. Rare and difficult, but possible - especially if you make lots of noise and balagan, to go in at your age. I have a friend who did this at 24.

He did the maslul for Tzanchanim (paratroopers), but then, as they say in hebrew and translated for popular consumption - his horse was tired. Not saying they still use horses in the Paratroopers or anywhere in the IDF, it's just an expression. It means that he had enough. Once he got to the line he realized what the real army is and decided that he was done. So he ran away. Running away is greatly frowned upon in the army.

Keep in mind that the IDF is not the Army of the Jewish People. It is the Army of the State of Israel. Israel may be the Jewish State but it is certainly not Disneyland for Jews. There is a difference. Nothing here is designed to make it fun, pleasant, or easy. Making aliyah just gives you the right to grumble about everything like the rest of us.

Doing things like Mahal can be admirable, but again it's a question of motivation. I'm troubled by the concept of someone who is willing to go to a country (see paragraph above), no matter how connected he feels to it because of his Judaism, do the army, but then leave immediately afterwards - which happens with a significant percentage even of anglos who make aliyah. Make aliyah for Israel, not for the army - because you have a connection to the place, warts and all - and especially the elements outside the army. Then you get to throw your lot in and do your time with everyone else.

Also - to echo what Rafi said earlier, both on this post and elsewhere. They do let people with minimal Hebrew into infantry units. It happens. It is a mistake. It is dangerous, both for the soldier and for everyone else around him.

Last edited by bmendales; 04-08-2010 at 11:16 AM..
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