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.