The Israeli army

Imagine this; the spring before you graduate high school, you are young, excited and nearly free of the first major life experience people have. However, instead of job searching or deciding on the university you will attend, you are taking tests. Tests to determine which unit of the army you will be placed in the coming months. Tests that determine how you spend the next 2-3 years of your life in service of your country.

This scenario is the reality of every Israeli high school graduate. The Israeli Army, also called Israel Defense Forces (IDF) was founded at the creation of Israel in 1948. Its mission is to protect the state of Israel and its inhabitants. The IDF, like many armies, has a wide variety of positions. Young Israelis can be assigned to international affairs’ roles, combat positions or spend their service making sure soldiers are at top fitness levels by being an athletic instructor.

While there are numerous posts to serve, every future solider needs to complete a basic training course or tironut in Hebrew. For most, this is when the reality of surrendering your freedom for 2-3 years’ sinks in. It is often hard to adjust to the minimal conditions and the rigidness that the IDF is known for. However, the off weekends every other week where nothing is on your mind and every minute is a celebration make the service tolerable. Not to mention, the young men and women are actively protecting the Holy Land.


The IDF Spirit

While the IDF is forced to face some of the world’s greatest threats in extremely close proximity, they remain dedicated to their set of values called “The IDF spirit”. Besides vowing to protect the state of Israel, the IDF spirit also draws on the history of the Jewish people and universal moral values to shape its moral principles. For example, the IDF believes, like many, in love of the Homeland and human dignity. More specifically, responsibility, credibility and professionalism are some of the standards the IDF seeks to uphold. These guidelines have resulted in many referring to the IDF as the “most moral army in the world”.

The IDF faces many challenges each and every day. Therefore, it needs to prepare its’ soldiers to be able to face such challenges to the best of their ability. Young and old Israeli men and women dedicate their lives to defending the prosperity of the state of Israel. As such, their service fills the Israeli public with a great sense of pride.

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