Mediterranean Monday: Serving in the Army

With all thats being going on here with the war, I thought it would be appropriate to use it as a topic for Med Monday. We are all glad to know that the cease fire has taken place, and the Israeli army is beginning to pull out of Gaza.  I’m sure that Mothers and Fathers all across Israel are pleased to hear it too, because most of the soldiers in the Israeli army are their sons and daughters.

In Israel it is mandatory to enter the army for 2 years when your turn 18.  It’s not like The States, where you choose to or not…here the choice has been made for you. There are always exceptions of course, but they are few and far between (if you are Orthodox or have a severe medical condition for example).  And yes, even the girls must enter as well.

When I first moved here I had mixed feelings about the whole thing, but now that I’ve been here a while I’m starting to see the benefits.  I think at 18 and 19 years old, a bit of discipline and order is something MOST people need.  Not to mention the fact of learning what it is to honor and serve your country.  In the scheme of life, 2 years is not a long time, and most people tend to waste a couple of years around that age in other areas of their lives anyway.  

After they have served their 2 years, they can choose to stay or leave, go to college, or work; but it seems to me they are more prepared to take on adult-hood than the average kid out of high school.  Of course, there is always the downside as well.  In case of a war (like we had here) most of the soldiers are younger.  I’m sure anyone can make cases for either side, but the fact of the matter remains: in Israel, entering into the army is mandatory.  I often think of how different my life would have been if going into the army was mandatory in the States as well.  I don’t think I’d be as much as a wimp as I am today….who knows?!?


(Courtesy of the Jerusalem Post)

(Courtesy of the Jerusalem Post)


About Maureen Hochdorf

Writer. Editor. High Techi. Non-Profit Founder. Traveler. Sports Lover. Star Wars Fanatic. Tel Aviver. Michigander.... View all posts by Maureen Hochdorf

One response to “Mediterranean Monday: Serving in the Army

  • annie

    I’m with you on the benefits. I’m sure the downsides are there as well – I can’t imagine seeing real war at such a young age. But you’re right – I think it would produce character and purpose at an age when most people are floundering somewhat. I think it’s also very strong that the whole nation could serve in the event of mass attack. The US certainly couldn’t say that!

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