This is Gaza

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted. One, I want to apologize, but two I want to explain that it is more or less a representation of my mental state right now. I get out of the army in 5 months and have a lot of conflictual feelings and thoughts which I will touch on later. Kav Aza – the Gaza Border – is probably one of the most conflictual zones in the world. It is the frequented subject

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Can you see Masada yet?

To an IDF unit, their kumta, or beret, is the ultimate goal for most combat soldiers. It is an achievement unlike any other, the mark of the completion of training. Each unit dons their own color, red for the paratroopers, turquoise for artillery, black for tanks, lime green for Nahal, and so on. To earn the lime green, my unit had to hike 65km, beginning in our base in the middle of the Negev desert, and hiking to Masada, the

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Platoon Week and War Week

I remember reading The Things They Carried in high school, a profile of the Vietnam war week characterized by its profiling of the soldiers by the gear they carried. As my unit prepared for the two most difficult weeks of our training, Shavua Machlaka (Platoon Week) and Shavua Milchama (War Week) I thought a lot about the book. We woke early monday morning, if 2am can be considered morning, and began to don our gear in preparation for the week to come.

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The Grind

About a month with my family – 2 weeks in Alaska, another two weeks of having them here in Israel. It was incredible both being home and getting to share the last 10 months of my life with them. I sit here now two weeks after they left. The change from being with my family back to the army was hard. I say hard because no word can describe how difficult it was to say goodbye to my family and

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“The Situation”

Israel’s war, though technically considered an operation by the Israeli government is referred solely as: “the situation.” A single word is not enough though to describe the atmosphere in Israel. I think that Israel is acutely aware that the general population is defended by kids, teenagers that are 18, 19, and 20 year olds. Adults defended by their children. And the international media fails to portray that although the war is fought between countries, the war is fought by kids:

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Sedaut – Field Week

Wow it’s been a while since I last wrote. I know I’ve written about this before, but time is one thing that really plays with my mind. I closed my first Shabbat in the field after finish shavuah sadeut which translates to field week. It’s the first week that combat soldiers have that really begins training them on how to operate in the field – everything from navigation to camouflage to maneuvering and other necessary skills. Our week began with

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Just one more step

A lot of things have happened since my last post, and I’ve been really bad at updating. When I get home on the weekends, it’s difficult for me to write, the last thing I feel like doing is thinking about the army…but I know I’ll appreciate it later. Here’s my list of achievements since my last post: I’m half way through tiranuit right now. We’ve finished three more masot, the 6k, 8k, and 12k. We had our hashbahah ceremony at

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Basic training Life in Nahal’s Gidud 50

Yesterday was the first day of my pasach break and it couldn’t have come sooner. I’ve finished three weeks of basic training and last week marked the first (of many) time that I was on base for shabbat, known as closing 14. Closing 21 is spending 2 shabbatot on base, and the dreaded 28 is 3 consecutive shabbatot. Three weeks ago I was placed in my unit, part of Nahal’s Gidud (battalion) 50. 50 is a famed paratrooper battalion, known for

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Army Difficulties and Relief

The army is not fun. Let’s dispel any confusion. It sucks most of the time. Getting woken up at 5 am to the commander whispering in my ear: “Five minutes, everyone dressed and outside, go!” — Not Fun. Holding push up position for 8 minutes because guys in your unit smoked cigs at the wrong time: Shitty. Having every moment of my life regulated and timed, that sucks. Never in the army am I “comfortable.” I’m always too tired, too

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Quick Update: Nahal and the Real Deal

I’m currently on the train to Beer Sheba and only have a little time to write, but thought I’d give a little update. It’s been a couple weeks since my last post, and since then, I was told which unit I will be joining. I am now in Nahal, one of the five infantry brigades. They have a lime green beret, red/brown boots, and carry the micro tavor assault rifle. As such, I happily traded in my black boots for

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