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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Gibbush Tzanchanim and Graduating from Mikhve Alon

This week has been the busiest, most intense week at Mikhve Alon, but definitely my favorite. I arrived Sunday knowing that the week would hold the tryouts for tzanchanim and our graduation from our hebrew course. 5 out of the 13 people in my Tzevet decided to do the gibbush so there was a nervous atmosphere hanging over our heads on Sunday. We went to bed early on Sunday in preparation for an early Monday wake up. 4:00 am, Monday,

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2 Months in, Tzanchanim, and Hebrew

Mikhve Alon is coming to a close. Another 2 and 1/2 weeks and I’ll be done with Mikhve and headed to the regular army. I had a conversation with Ema before about the passage of time in the army. I’ve been in for two months and it’s very hard to describe how I feel looking back. Retrospectively, it hasn’t been that difficult or that long, but I have so many memories of just feeling completely done. I think the best

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Guns, Time, and Army Food

I just finished my third week in the army. I’m actually off on leave right now with what’s called a gimalim–which is sick leave from the army; I thought I’d make use of the freedom and update my blog. The past couple of weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind. A phrase I heard a few days ago really rings true and accurately describes the army: the days take forever but the weeks fly bye. Our days each last

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The Bakkuum and Mikhve Alon

I’m a soldier. It’s a whole new world. New rules, food, locations, clothes. After arriving early morning to the enlistment location in Tel Aviv, myself and several hundred other men and women waited in the cold morning air while groups were called and put on a bus. Family members were crying and taking photos and a nervously excited atmosphere hung over everyone that morning. Considering most people there were chayalim bodedim and have no immediate family, I can’t imagine what

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Tomorrow It Begins

I don’t have much time to write, but just wanted to post something before I enlist tomorrow. I spent all today shopping and packing and now have a bundle of army grey wool socks and olive green T shirts. I have food, my leather man, a watch, some extra clothes, and toiletries; the rest of what I need, the army will give me tomorrow. I got a haircut and shaved and now, all I need is a uniform 🙂 I’m

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The Tzav Rishon

I made my first real step towards my enlistment this past Monday. Until this, everything was fairly hands-off–send a form and follow it along its way–but this was real! The Tzav Rishon translates to “First Order” in Hebrew. It typically occurs Junior year for Israelis and encompasses a number of medical and mental tests that allow the army to both approve teens for military service and to place them in a suitable role. Mine began early Monday morning in the

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