Little Green Men

Tomorrow I draft. What I’ve wanted to do for 5 years is finally happening, what I’ve been actively preparing for for almost a year in Israel, learning the language, the culture, and the mindset to do is becoming very very real very very quickly.

And to be honest, it’s very very scary as well.

I’ve gotten a lot of mixed reactions from Israelis when they discover than not only have I come to do the army, I’ve also made Aliyah. It ranges from “are you insane??” To “lets trade: you live with my parents and I’ll live with yours” “Israel needs more people like you” and “why on earth aren’t you serving in the Canadian army? Don’t you want to protect your family? Why would you come here?” To be honest, I considered serving in the Canadian army. You certainly get better paid than in the army here. Yes, I may be somewhat insane; I went to a foreign country where I don’t speak the language to serve in the army.

But why? Why am I doing this? Simple – for my people.

We just had yom hashoa -holocaust Memorial Day- this week. In 1939 when the holocaust started we had no voice. We had nobody fighting for our people. Then came the partisans and the ghetto rebellion, but it wasn’t enough. Six million perished. Now, we have enough. We have an army to defend our people from whatever threats there may be. So never again shall Jews be felled by the thousands while the world stands by the wayside and watches. Further, I’m drafting on the anniversary of the death of Adolf Hitler no less, I find a strange sense of karma in that. The day I draft is also the day the maniac who caused one of the reasons for me to draft died.

I’m drafting to a place called michve alon, which is an educational base in northern Israel. There I’ll be going through a Hebrew course and basic training, before they send me to join whichever unit I end up in. It’s a three month course that will hopefully give me the ability to be a better soldier.

Starting on Wednesday I’ll be in uniform. I’ll be that soldier sleeping on the bus, the soldier you see walking through town with a backpack full of laundry on his back, that soldier that you see eating falafel with a huge smile on his face, happy for a little break.

I’ll be just one guy in a sea of little green men.

Mission: Israel!

So there is less than a week left until my flight and I am excited beyond words! I have almost all the packing done; all I need to do is wait for the flight. In the last month or so the amount of support I’ve received from friends, family, and various assorted people has been amazing. The amount of advice I’ve been given is staggering.

Just a small piece of advice: if you are making aliyah, make sure you take plenty of time to make some good memories here before you go. Besides passing the time, it’s great to leave on a happy note. Personally, I’ve started my goodbyes already and yes, it’s hard. To say goodbye to almost everyone you know and love is a big deal. Make the most of it.

So, with only a few days left as a “chutznik” (somebody who lives outside Israel) I am making memories, having fun and possibly even enjoying a shenanigan or two. Nefesh b’Nefesh asked me to make a small clip to say what I’ll be doing, here’s what I submitted:

Aside from me making aliyah, there are many many many more like me who are making this journey together with me. Each of us has our own story behind what we are doing, yet we all arrived at the same conclusion. THIS IS WHERE WE BELONG! And that in itself is mind blowing.

Less than six days left. This chapter of my life is over, and another, hopefully more exciting one is about to begin…..

AND ON THE THIRD DAY, THERE WAS A NEW PLAN

Dear readers,
I know I haven’t been posting much recently as over the past few months I have not been sure what was going on myself, let alone sure enough to actually write about it. BUT, I have not abandoned my plan! just changed it slightly. For one reason or another, garin tzabar didn’t work out for me. At this point I was wondering what I would do. And today, after weeks of indecision I finally “think” I know what my plan is.

Later this morning I have an interview with the Jewish Agency For Israel in manhattan! To finally get my Aliyah approved and to fine tune many aspects of my plan. I will let you guys know just as soon as I know.

Caution: Big Year Ahead

It’s 2013!2013-Wallpaper-HD-10

Well, 2013 is finally here, and boy is my schedule packed with things to look forward to! At the top of the list is making the 6000 mile move from Spring Valley, New York to Israel, my people’s homeland. It’s pretty scary to think that in just eight short months I’ll be moving away from all that I grew up with, and moving to the land where my ancestors and their ancestors called home.

The Garin Tzabar Program, through whom I will be making Aliyah, has a series of seminars to help prepare young olim for life in Israel and in the army. The first seminar is only a few weeks away, and I can’t wait to meet my fellow crazy young adults who have decided to become my second family (whether they know it / like it or not).

For anybody interested in the program, please visit Garin Tzabar. Tell them I sent you. Or don’t. Your choice.

In addition to all these exciting events, I have been doing some research into cell phones in Israel. I have already found a decent cell phone plan, and I plan on buying an unlocked iPhone before I ship out. The plan is from Golan Telecom, a relatively new player in the cell market, and they have a plan for 99 NIS per month that includes:

  • Unlimited calls
  • Unlimited sms/mms
  • Unlimited internet browsing 3G+
  • Unlimited calls (53 Countries)

In addition, they will ship the SIM card to your house, and they let you pick your number for no added cost. Check this plan out at GOLAN TELECOM.

By this time next year, I’ll be a proud member of the Israeli Defense Force. What will YOU accomplish within this next year?

Aliyah Update

I am moving forward in my application process. I have certified that I’m healthy, that I’m not too crazy, that I want to join the army, that I have read and agreed to the terms and conditions, and whatever else was on those forms I have to fill out.

So, pile number one of the paperwork is almost done. I have been assured that there will be very many more forms to fill out, but that is the price you have to pay in this day and age of bureaucracy. At least I can send them in online rather than mailing them in. Thank you to whoever set that up.

I have been getting a lot of feedback about this blog, and I am glad that people are finding the information useful. I am also extremely appreciative of all the support, good wishes, and offers to do my laundry. Gotta love dem Jewish families.

Thanks for reading!

Cease fire? We cease, they fire.

On November 21st, after 8 days of fighting, Operation Pillar of Defense ended in a cease fire. So, no more attacks, no more violence, everything is very peaceful now. Right. Even under this cease fire with Hamas, other factions of the Islamic terrorist community are very active in trying to “kill the Jews” wherever they might be found.

Ahmed Ferhani, an Algerian immigrant, was arrested this week on charges of plotting to blow up a synagogue. In New York City. Mr. Ferhani was arrested when he attempted to buy guns, ammunition, and even grenades, allegedly to use to attack a synagogue. Ladies and gentlemen, just because we may or may not be in the Jewish state, does not mean we are outside of the figurative target area of our enemies. Just pointing that out. This is about being Jewish, not being Israeli.

The Reason Why

I’m positive I’m not alone in feeling the shock resulting from the rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas militants hiding in the Gaza strip. In the past few days, over a hundred rockets have been hurled at Israeli towns and cities full of innocent people. This past Saturday, this same militant group attacked an Israeli army vehicle with an anti-tank rocket, critically wounding two soldiers and injuring two more. In the city of Sderot, mere kilometers from the terrorist-governed Gaza strip, residents have less than 15 seconds to reach shelter in the event of a rocket attack.

This is not the first time terrorists have reared their ugly heads in Israel. Last year, there was an attack in a small town called Itamar. Two terrorists broke into a family’s home and slaughtered the father, Uri, the mother, Ruth, and three of their children: Yoav, Elad, and Hadas. Hadas was only four months old. The terrorists beheaded her. This act of cruelty that two men would behead a four month old baby for the simple reason that she was a Jew – that says volumes about “Peace in the Middle East”. Mainly: it cannot happen. To quote Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu – “if the Arabs were to put down their weapons, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons, there would be no more Israel.” We are fighting a war against an enemy who cannot be appeased with anything less than the complete annihilation of the Jewish state and its people.

This is why I will join the IDF. I feel like I need to be a part of the solution. We cannot let them get the better of us. Golda Meir, the first female prime minister of Israel, said “When peace comes we will perhaps in time be able to forgive the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons.”  We have no choice but to defend our land.

Just to point this out for you skeptics, it’s called the Israeli DEFENSE force.  Not the Israeli “let’s kill the Muslims” force. All we are trying to do is to live in peace. And it seems like that is too much to ask…..