Thursday, 3 September 2009

Tsav Rishon...

Shalom. Completed my Tsav Rishon last week in Tiberius. The 'Tsav Rishon' (first draft) is when young Israelis visit a special army base and do a number of different tests, in order to determine where you go within the army. There are different sections to the Tsav Rishon, all of which I did...

1) Hebrew Test - a bit of a struggle for me but my reading and writing wasn't too bad. Hopefully I don't have to got army ulpan.
2) 'Pyschotechnic' Test - this is just some short questions on the computer where you have to choose the right answer (normally the next shape in the sequence). This was kind of simple as it just proves that you don't have any serious learning difficulties.
3) Medical Profiling - this was a series of medical checks; general check-up, urine test, height, weight, colour blind test and eye test. After all this they give you a score/profile that determines where you are eligible to go within the army. I am a 97(!), which is the highest score and means I can do practically anyhting, but, most importantly, means I can be kravi (fighter/combat unit).
4) Personal Interview - specific to boys who want to be in combat units. This lasted nearly an hour and was filled with very random questions, e.g. How many friends do I have? or By how many minutes if I was late to my ulpan class would it be by?

So what this means, is that I have completed my first draft for the army, woo-hoo, but also that I can be a combat soldier in the army. The next step is choosing where to go within the army, but that is not for another couple of weeks.

In order to try and get familiar to the army lifestyle I decided to have a short haircut. Unfortunately, the boy who cut my hair used clippers that have only one setting, grade one, i.e. as he started to shave off my hair, I realised that it was more like a hooligan haircut than an army one. Also, in order to get some laughs out of this situation, the rest of my garin decided to leave a circle of hair at the back of my head, sort of like a monk. I quickly got rid of this gross style but only after going to the hadar ochel for dinner and showing to the whole kibbutz! If you're having trouble picturing this....

These are pictures of before and after the riduclous haircut.

Other news in the last week... Firstly it was my 19th birthday on Monday, thanks you to everyone for the birthday wishes. It was lucky because instead of having ulpan like every other weekday, we went on an exciting tiyul called 'yehudiah' where we hiked and swam until about 4pm. In the evening the whole garin went to the pub (when I say pub, what I really mean is the underground bomb shelter that has cushions and stereo system) to celebrate and had a memorable night... The next morning I did wake up with a very sore head!

Me, on my birthday, with my two roommates. As you can see, the silly monk haircut has now gone but having a skinhead is still rather extreme for me.

In fact, when I spoke to my parents and grandparents on Skype for the first time since shaving my head, I had to wear a hat for them, in order not to shock them (no jokes).

I feel like I have really settled now, not just mentally but also I feel like my flat, my Kibbutz and my country are really becoming my home. I do still think about my friends and family back in London but here is where I truly want to be. Anyway, another nice thing that happened this week was how we slept on the beach at Habonim. Although sand got absolutely everywhere, waking up in the morning and going straight into the sea was quite cool.

Me on the beach on my bed for the night.

Next week we have ulpan nearly every day as normal and I'm sure there will be a trip of some sort as well. The next big step is choosing where to go within the army and this will happen once I receive my 'manila' (the sheet where you prioritise where you want to go) within the next week. So, the next blog will let you all know where I have chosen to go to within the IDF!!!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Sam
    That's a nice little hair-do you got yourself! when do you get to start shooting things?