Army scared me – about the IDF

It was very unusual for me to see all the soldiers carrying their weapons in the street.  

I felt sorry for our Israeli exchange students, because they have to go to the IDF for two to three years and sometimes even longer.

I thought army was something terrible, dangerous, people shout at each other, people die.

But that is only one side.

Maayan, our tour guide in Jerusalem, told me that she had a good time at the army.

She said, that she understood that her country needs protection and she believed the army to be a great opportunity to connect people.

In the IDF, people from all over the country serve together and get to know each other.

Maayan said, army changes people in a good way because of that opportunity to make friends and to get to know different people and cultures.

Of course, army is not always easy. Maayan remembered that it was sometimes challenging to work with higher ranked commanders, but it helps you to gain experience.

In the end, she told me about a sentence that people say to a newborn in Israel. It goes like this: We wish that once your child reaches the age of 18, we won’t need the IDF anymore.

Author: Emily Patzer

17 years old Berlin

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