Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"...Vacation's All I Ever Wanted..."

So I'm on vacation now, Praise the Lord, HalleluY-a *southern-black-minister speak* (although I left out the "jesus the lord" part). Before we went on vacation though, we went to our new base in Beit El. Yup, new base, we finished all of our training, now we're going to be doing what we're trained for -- takin' care of bid'ness *ebonics*. As I may have mentioned, I'm in the Ramallah area. Went we got to my Beit El, saw a mosque out in the distance a bit (3 - 4 kms maybe) and asked my mefakeid (commander, sergeant in rank),

"Omri, mah zeh?"
Omri: Ramallah.
Me: Sweet.

We didn't do anything though. We got our equipment, the next day had our masa aliyyah lag'dud, and then vacation.

Now, masa aliyyah lag'dud, is I guess you could say an entrance fee to the g'dud, the unit. We finished training, we're doing a masa with the g'dud, and now we're going to fight with the g'dud.
It was from Handarta Sayeret Duchifat (the Sayeret Duchifat Memorial) in Pisgat Ze'ev (northeast Yerushalayim) until the Kotel, about 12 km. Let me tell you, it didn't feel like 12 at all. I wasn't feeling so well that week, I had a cold, my ankle which I sprained 4 yrs ago was acting up again as it does here and there, but I was not going to miss this masa. And I didn't, Praise the Lord HalleluY-a. Walking through the streets of Yerushalayim to the Kotel, one whole unit of Tzahal, all together, how can I miss that? It was absolutely amazing. Even though no one loves running when you're wearing your vest and all your stuff, I didn't mind one bit when we did the obligatory 50 meter sprints that you do every so often in a masa. Just being part of it, I didn't care what I did. They could have told us to fly, and I would have. You know, it's weird -- if you were there, you would've have seen a whole unit walking on the sidewalk to the Kotel. You would have felt amazing, watching Tzahal just march right on, feeling a huge sense of pride. Well, it was weird because I didn't see it -- I was it.
And then we get to the Arab part of Yerushalayim, right outside "their" part of the Old City, guys singing the song about Moshe Rabeinu "*low part* Vayach es hamitzri, vayifen ko vacho...*high part* la'asos nekama lagoyyim*--*lp* and he hit the egyptian and looked here and there...*hp* to do revenge on the nations" was a cool feeling. I know, I know, the point isn't to do revenge on them, it's to defened ourselves, yada yada I know, I know. But someday, we have to give back 100x what they've given us for so many years.
Then we reached Kikar Tzahal (the intersection before that long footpath to Sha'ar Yafo) and we just sprinted as fast as we could. We stopped after a little bit, but, just the symbol, when we get to Yeruhalayim, running as fast as we can. Then we skipped Sha'ar Yafo and entered through Sha'ar Tziyyon, singing Am Yisrael Chai, and, most importantly, Yibaneh HaMikdash, at the end, seeing the Beis HaMikdash in its ruin (not just its ruin, its insult to injury with a mosque on the holiest place on earth, but that's another post for a different time...).
We got to the Kotel, and had a little tekes (ceremony), and then we got our really nice Duchifat March 07 gun straps. Now all we need is our Duchifat pin that we're supposed to get sometime soon and it's all good...

When Is It Going To End?

Last Shabbos I was eating at home, and someone talking about something she had read in the newspaper in passing. If I remember correctly, a women got onto a mehadrin bus (men in the front, women in the back) in Beit Shemesh, and sat in the front, not knowing it was in fact a mehadrin bus, and then a chayyal sat down next to her. Next thing she said was that 5 chassidish teens beat her up for it.

So, as I asked, when is it going to end? When are chassidim going to stop doing these extreme acts, which are aveiros by the way--which they are supposed to care SOOOO much about--and act like normal people? It makes me sick, even more so living right next to them in Sheinfeld.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Bad Chayyal?

So i went to get a haircut at my barber in chareidiville (aka Nachala Umenucha in Beit Shemesh) on erev Shabbos. I was walking out, and this chassidish kid with hir mother starts saying, "ima chayyal! Ima chayyal!" (I was in my uniform and all) but not with the usual excitement usually related to that phrase. In fact, it was quite the opposite, he was crying! He was scared of me. I've never met anyone scared of chayyalim before. His mother though, said, "it's ok hes not going to do anything." I wasn't embarrassed, but I was for sure shocked. I wonder what was going through his head then. I mean, do chassidim really teach their kids to hate the army? I can't imagine that's the case. First, they don't give me strange looks, or spit/curse at me. That's a start right? Also a bunch of times they have stopped me to ask questions. So I can't imagine they HATE. I also can't imagine that they don't appreciate the army. We, with HaShem of course, keep them safe. So I just can't imagine thats the case, that they teach to not like us. Is it possible that a chayyal did something bad to him or his family? Yeah, I guess so, anything is possible, but I hope to God not. Also, I was, of course, wearing my kippah, and my tzitzis were hanging out, so he can tell I'm religious. And he still thought I would ch"v do something? I wonder....

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Jonnies

In the Israeli Army, a jonny is an arab that you catch, wanted, not, or you saw him looking suspicious or with a gun, something like that. Well, my unit is now doing the shmirot for the whole area of moshav Migdalim, the hummer patrols (of which i did on erev yomtot going into the yomtov, 2 - 10 pm), foot patrols, etc. So tonight the foot patrol of my machlaka caught 3 jonnies. WITH a gun. Yup we caught 3 could-be terrorists with a gun. I'm telling you, the gun looks its from America's independence war. Like they made it at home with a pipe and thats it. Not only that, I saw them being escorted into our base blindfolded to our chamal (the room with the radio people) and when I saw that, I thought, wow, there's our mitzvah, right there. That's why I'm here. Who knows what they could've done. I'm proud of my boys.