Friday, September 4, 2009

Tsav Rishon and Pain

This past Thursday began my induction into the IDF. I had to wake up early in the morning, grab an early bus to Tiveria (Tiberius) and then report to the Lishkat Giyus (Enlistment office). There you begin your induction into the IDF. It starts with your background information, your family details, and your history. They than administer a Hebrew test to see your level of understanding and mastery. This test is a ridiculous one, it involves reading and translating several sentences in Hebrew, except half the words are words even Israeli's have never heard of before. But I think I passed the Hebrew test as the next step was a 2 hour personal interview. This is not done for all people, and they would not chooses someone who could not communicate his answers so I answered the weirdest questions in Hebrew for two hours. We spent a solid half hour on being late to class, where, when, and why.

After my interview I had a medical examination, and an eye examination whish is used to give you your medical profile, which dictates where you can go in the army. I received a 97 which is the highest profile there is. This means I can go where ever I want in the army. Following this I was set up as a Chayal Boded (Lonely Soldier) and then had to take an intelligence test. The intelligence test was not too hard it’s a lot of pattern recognition and shape comparisons.

After this we returned to the kibbutz and then the real fun began. At 2200 we began Liylah Halavan (Literally: The white night). This is in essence an all night smoker. It starts off easy, a few pushups, a bit of crawling, and bit standing and not moving. then it intensifies. We begin a short march out of the kibbutz into the fields. Once in the fields we spend hours running back and forth, crawling, and way too long in Matzav Shtayim (The upright push up position). I really learned to hate crawling, the ground has littered with thorns, rocks, and generally painful stuff, my forearms are now just covered in red welts from all the crawling we did. This all went till 0430 (we knew because we heard the Muslim call to prayer in the distance) and then we got to load up our stretcher with 230 pounds of sandbags and water and then we set off. Every 20 seconds a pair switches in from the back, and the pair on the back of the stretcher switches the pair on the front of the stretcher, and so we went till 0630 when we got back to our building. There we all got under the stretcher and when our "commanders" screamed Ali'ah we screamed Krav, which means something along the lines of "rise to the fight" but also is a kind of motto for those who choose to go to combat units here. We then stripped of our incredibly muddy cloths, showered, and slept for hours.

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