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Sunday, June 18, 2006


So, I'm getting really bad about blogging. I just have so little time to write. As much as I like writing here, and getting feedback, it is one of the first things in my life to take the back burner when I get busy.

In this post I want to talk about birthright, yes again. It has been the subject of many a post in the recent past. It was also the subject of an article I wrote that was recently published in Esra magazine and will hopefully be published in The Bridge magazine in the near future. I'll dedicate a post to that soon (no promises though as these promises seem to only get broken).

[Don't know what birthright is? Get up to speed with some past posts:]
[Birthright Israel- Shorashim- Winter 2005-2006]

I was sent on birthright again as a soldier from the 8th-18th. The second time around it is very different from the the first. While it was still an eye opening experience, this time, having experienced many of the activities already, I approached them with the attitude of trying to stimulate certain ways of thinking. As opposed to last time, I came to these activities with certain opinions already formed. With that said, every group has its own dynamic and makes you look at certain things in a completely different light. If I could, I would go on this trip over and over just to hear more people's opinions on the importance of marrying Jewish or of not compromising on Jerusalem in exchange for peace. I can't express how much I love debating these subjects with intelligent youth.

When I returned from the first trip I felt a stronger connection to Israel and Zionism and a less strong connection to Judaism as a religion. I don't feel this trip pushed me in any particular direction on either issue. Upon returning from this trip I feel the strong desire to get involved in teaching these subjects. I feel like I want to explore these subjects with people on these trips as a madrich (councilor). My staff from this trip told me they would write me a letter of recommendation for when I will hopefully apply for the position upon my completion of the army next year.

I can't stress enough how important I think the birthright program is and how strongly I feel about it. I want to continue being a part of it. I think I have a lot to offer to it and a lot to gain from it. I think we all do.

Ok, enough babble about the importance of the trip and my emotions. I just want to mention a few of the highlights of the trip for me:

  • Rappelling at the Ramon Crater
  • Swimming in the Jilaboon waterfall
  • The "Mega Event"
  • Yelling my lungs out at "boot camp"
  • Drinking "Taco Taco"- "The taste of real Mexican tequila"
  • Sleeping in the Bedouin tent + Camel ride

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Three Striper - Yes Sergeant!

[retroactive blogging]

Today was an exciting day. I got my third stripe. That means I am now a sergeant. It also means that I'm am considered a pazamnik or someone who has been in the army a long time. This is a big landmark in my army career (are three years really a career?). My uniform seems to fit me better now. It just sits right. Suits me better with the higher rank. Well, maybe not, but I like it.

[/retroactive blogging]