Wow, so I just had the longest week in the Army yet…I think I might even broke my “Everything is cool and I love the army act…” We also did a ton this week…
Final Hebrew Test
The major part of the week was the Army’s Hebrew Test from the Bakum. We spent sometime everyday getting ready for the test on Wednesday. The test consists of four parts. The most important is the speaking. So we worked on speaking all week. The questions were mostly about ourselves and what we liked. Pretty easy… The other parts are; matching nouns and adjectives in the correct gender, transcribing sentences, and reading sentences with words we would not know and trying to figure out the hard words from context. The scoring goes from 1-9. I don’t know why in the Army the numbers make no sense, but that is the way it is. 1 is pretty no hebrew and 9 is fully university level fluent. If you first score a 1-4 when you first take the test before the Army they send you to Mchva Alon (The Hebrew course I’m in now.) 6 is what you need to go to commander’s course and a 7 to go to officer’s course. Most Israelis score a 8 or 9, but there are some that score 6 and 7…
So just before I went in for the test, my Tzvet was going though some problems, I’ll get into them later… But let us just say I wasn’t in the best mind set and I was quiet pissed off. Great. I’m about to take a test that will affect the next two years of my life and I can’t even get a hebrew word out of my mouth to tell some people to F*c% off. Well, I pulled it together and walked into the room. They sat me down with a nice looking female soldier and took down my info. The test started off with some questions about me. Where are you from, why did you make Aliyah…ect. I why for a good amount of time and I guess I said that I studied Theater in College and that let to the question. What is your favorite Play? ……What? I was not ready to talk about Theater in Hebrew…and thank G-d, just that morning I learned the word for Play. The first play that popped into my head without thinking was Midnight Summer’s Dream and then she asked me to explain what it was about. Oh man, I screwed… I then told her that might be a bit difficult, but I could explain her Romeo and Juliet. So I did and I even compared it to my Machlaka (Platoon). I said that we have two big families, the English Speakers and the Russian Speakers, and one person from the English speakers wants to be friends with one of the Russian Speakers and vice versa. The families don’t like this though and give them shit for wanting to be friends…ect…wow I can’t believe I told that to the interviewer…. Then she said, “I can see you like Shakespeare. Can you explain who he is to me?” Damn…Well I tried but really couldn’t get the right words out and you could tell I was totally caught off guard. The rest of the test was alright. I didn’t understand any of the sentences with the hard words, so I couldn’t even pick out the word they wanted us to figure out from context…I don’t think anyone did well on this part.
Well all in all, I could have done better and I think I saw her write down that I got a 6/9. Which is about what all my friends got as well. So I Army thinks I am fluent. Super.
Promotion for a week.
So for the past few weeks we have had a few soldiers that got selected to be the go to soldier in each Tzvet and one for the Machlaka. There just mostly a way for the commanders to get to know what’s going on in each group. So this week I was given the job for the whole Machlaka. Everyone had to come to me with complaints, recommendations, compliments, and logistical stuff. I also had to help the Samelt (Platoon Sergeant) with whatever she needed, Kabel (pop to) on behalf of the whole Machlaka to the Sergeant and officers. It goes something like this.
LaKabalt HaSamlet/M”M/M”P Machlaka Shalos(3) (Everyone: Ain li eretz aharet) Ematach vaAchshev, 23 (Achshev) 23 (Achshev). In english it is something like. “To receive the sergeant, Platoon 3, (Everyone with our moto: I have no other land) is standing in stretch and attention. Two Three. (Everyone: Attention) Two Three. (Everyone: Attention). Wow, that really sounds stupid in English.
I also get to orginize something for the whole Machlaka to do together. I think we will have a soccer or basketball competition next week.
I got in trouble again…
So once again I am getting an onesh (Punishment). I did the one thing I told myself I would never do…I forgot my gun… Yea…. So the whole week before we didn’t have our M-16s and I guess I got out of my habit of being on 24/7 watch of my rifle. I was in the Beit Kanesset (Synagogue) and I walked to the Dining Room without my rifle. As soon as I walked in, I saw everyone with their rifles. OH SHIT. Panic. I ran back and stopped behind a bush. I just saw one of my commanders sitting near the Synagogue. There was no way I could make it passed her without her seeing. I ran in and grabbed my gun with out saying a thing. As soon as I walk outside, she looks right at me and says, “Tzvi, Tell your Mifakedet” …Damn… Disappointment ran all around my body. The auto/no questions asked punishment is four hours on base before shabbat. THANK G-D once again because I forgot my rifle on Monday and on Tuesday we got new privileges and harder punishments. Its now Shabbat if you forget your rife.
Last week we started getting ready for our Persona night. The whole Pluga got together for a night for the three machlakas to tell about their Persona. My Machlaka is Yoni Netanyahu. We had to put together two songs, a play, and a story line. I got picked to be a singer…lol. Now most people know that I love to sing, but one big problem…I can’t. We sang two songs in front of 200 people… it wasn’t too bad, but we aren’t going to be on American or Israeli Idol any time soon. Check out the songs though they are pretty chilling: Ani Li Eretz Aharet (I have no other land) and Shir shel achrei hamilkama (Song after the war).
Doctor Visits (Dentist and Gastro)
Everyone has been going to the Dentist the past few weeks and I haven’t been to a Dentist in four years, so I thought I should go and get somethings checked out. The guy was really nice and took a look at my teeth. I have a crown that was loose and some pain. It turns out that I have a big problem with my crown and I have to see a specialist soon and get it reset. I also find out I brush a bit too well or too hard. and the pain is coming from my only wisdom tooth, so I need another specialist to take it out. Fun two dentist appointments coming up. I love freeish dentistry.
Finally… I got to see a Gastroenterologist. They couldn’t find me a Army doctor, so after much work the week before I got an appointment with a civilian doctor at the hospital in Tzvat. We got Thursday off from the Army for a day to get everything done outside the army. I had to go to the Doctor. I waited forever and talked to the doctor for five minutes. He then signed me up to get two tests. So on Sunday I get to have my tests. Guess what…I am getting inspected from both ends…thats as far as I’ll go for you. So we will finally know what is wrong with me soon, hopefully. The Plus side is that they are fully knocking me out. I have to be picked up from the hospital, so a mifakedet has to come with a car and take me back to base. I am hoping and my mifakedet said that I should be getting a day or two of gimmelim from base. A Gimmel is a medical rest day at home. So if everything goes to plan, I will get to watch the World Cup final! Go Holland!
So why was this such a shitty/long week?
My tzvet the past two weeks has not been getting along. I think its because of the following reasons:
1. Its towards the end of our course and we don’t have to be so respectful to eachother because after next week we are all not going to be friends.
2. We are very tired
3. There is a lot of double standards.
4. People just don’t like each other.
5. and we can’t always fully express ourselves. Language/Culture Differences.
6. The mifikedets are very tired too and have shorter fuses. aka, they get pissed off a lot easier.
7. People are selfish.
I really didn’t like was what was going on and some people were getting a bit out of hand. I had a talk with the samelet about it during my nightly debriefs. I suggested that my tzvet needed to sit down and talk it out. I also said I think we should do it without our commanders but with someone who was mutual. Well the next day right before our Hebrew Final we had a chat. It was with our two Mifikedets. They started by saying what they thought was the problem and then they let us go around and say what we though the problem was and how we can fix it. Now as you can expect, this wasn’t the most cordial discussion and people got quiet personal. The end result was in my mind. Suck it up, there isn’t much time left and things aren’t going to change. Not what I was hoping for or what the mifikedets were hoping for.
I was pretty angry after the discussion and was quiet snappy. My mifikedet said something that I took as something way out of line right after we had a discussion about having standards on a straight line. I’m not going to go into it, but lets just say…I had enough. I had to get a few minutes to myself.
After the test we had another sit down session and played some icebreaker games. It was just the right thing for us to start talking to each other again about something not related to the day or the army. Well see how the last week goes…
One more week! I think its going to be a good week. I probably have a bunch of doctor appointments off base and I also find out what I’ll be doing the rest of my army service. We have an interview with Selection Officer. We get to talk to him about what we want to do and give him three of our top choices. Now there is a lot that goes into this process. I am pretty nervous because I don’t know my profile, so I don’t know if I’m going the Jobnick route or the Combat route. I’m prepared though for the Jobnick route though, because it is very highly likely that I will not have a combat profile. My top three jobs are 1. Commanders Course 2. Intelligence 3. Social Worker or IDF Spokesman.
So wish me luck! Next weekend is going to be very exciting when I will know how the next chapter of my Army life will begin. Plus I have been invited to attend Shabbat Dinner with the Governor of Colorado in Jerusalem on Friday.