August 4, 2011

By Noah Soumekhian and Jesse Zweben

As the SOS crew entered the gates of the Sayeret Givati, the base of our counselor, Aviad’s, unit, many emotions were expressed. Some of us were excited, as we were about to experience the life of a soldier in Zahal, the Israeli Defense Forces. Others were nervous, knowing that we could potentially go through an evening filled with intense challenges. 

Once we unloaded our bags and settled into our rooms, we got on the bus and went to an army shooting range.  On the way, Aviad handed around the newest gun from the Israeli government for us to play with.  Even though it had no bullets in it we all laughed at the fact that in Israel you can just let kids play with guns.  We were met by two soldiers, one who performed a simulation of the proper attacking mechanics when in a terror attack situation. As we watched the soldier constantly move from left to right, drop to the ground, spin, and fire his weapon, we were all beyond amazed and left the field in awe. Following this simulation, Aviad was kind enough to share some stories from his experience on the base. He talked to us about terror week, a week in which you are not allowed to talk to anybody under all circumstances. The way Aviad described what he and his fellow soldiers went through made us realize how much pain these soldiers go through, what it really means to be brave and finally what it means to be an elite Israeli soldier.

As we were driving back from the shooting range to the base, Aviad told the boys not to eat the snack since we(the boys)  would be doings drills later.  However, none of us listened to him and we all had chocolate milk, eggs, rice and other foods you shouldn’t have before doing Israeli army training.

Then suddenly, while we talking at the table, a very big, scary, strong Israeli ran into the room and yelled all the boys outside now (in Hebrew).  It was quite scary but apparently, for some odd reason, someone told me that I (Jesse) was smiling while everyone else’s faces went pale.

Then, we proceeded to run to a concrete soccer court that was almost as scary as he was. 

Then we started to run around a red line a billion times while dropping to our stomachs and backs and getting up at lightning speed.   Then we did things that are classified to be posted on this website.  I will tell you, however, that more than half of the boys threw up.

Since it is almost Shabbat I will bullet point the rest

  • Girls ran less than a mile, did one push up and climbed a rope. (they actually did nothing)
  • We saw super awesome weapons
  • Took the best shower ever
  • We had dinner with the soldiers
  • I (jesse) love Aviva
  • We slept on an army base. Super cool
  • I (jesse) love Aviva
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