Monday, May 3, 2010

IDF Basic Training Recruits in Mitzpe Ramon on Lag B'Omer

I saw a sight not often seen in Mitzpe Ramon on Lag B'Omer - a large group of IDF soldiers in military fatigues, except for black t-shirts and tennis shoes. The special garb indicated basic training recruits I was told. Even more surprising - it was a group of all anglo-speaking recruits. There were about 100 organized into smaller groups, all carrying assault rifles, and sent to practice map reading. I watched them spread out over town, running from place to place, maps in hand. As I walked home from downtown, a group crossed the street and came up to me asking, "Where are we?"

"No, wait," one said, "Let us tell you where we think we are," pointing to his satellite image map.

"Why are you asking me," I said, "maybe I'm a terrorist."

They laughed and pointed to their map again.

"Yep, that's where you are," I commended them as they ran off to their next check point.

As they disappeared down the street I yelled after them, "Now get out of here, you're still a bunch of losers." And I said to their over weight female Sergeant, "kick their as*!"

I would have made a great Marine like my cousin Micah Machefsky.

So, off they went. Another group of American-Israeli soldiers spending Israeli treasure to help save American soldiers' lives in the Middle East.

A group of Ango-Israeli recruits practice map reading in Mitzpe Ramon
(Latter note: As it happens, Lag B'Omer is also celebrated as Reserve Duty Day in Israel, honoring Israel's 100,000 men and women who volunteer for reserve duty 10 or more days per year. This day was chosen because of its connection to the Jewish soldiers who, during the Bar Kochba revolt in the second century C.E., fought the Roman conquerors of Israel.)

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