Thursday, May 10, 2007

danny get your gun

Thursday night, choice to hear Olmert speak at the Masa Gala or see my friend Danny get sworn in at the Kotel. I chose Danny.

The Tekes (ceremony) Hasbaah (swearing in) at the Kotel marked the end of basic training for Zanchanim (paratroopers) who enlisted March 27 and their official swearing in. The soldiers receive their unit's pins and get their guns. Zanchanim is one of the most elite units in the IDF. The soldiers are young, most just out of high school.* The plaza in front of the Kotel was mobbed with adoring family members, girlfriends, and etcs. There were far more people there that night than had been at the Kotel for the Yom HaZikaron ceremony.

I ran into Tamir, one of Danny's friends from kibbutz, in the Old City and he, having been a zanchan himself, knew where to stand and other useful things like... ... zanchanim don't tuck their shirts in. We wandered to the entrance of the Kotel tunnels, where all of the zanchanim that were being sworn in were standing inside of. Exactly like an American football game where the team gets pepped in the tunnel before taking the field, the zanchanim were chanting and cheering. So much energy! Arms tingling, heart racing with excitement as I watch and listen and know that Danny is there, that he is part of this movement.



This is one of the officers standing in front of all the new zanchanim before they begin marching to the Kotel.



A row of hayallim, soldiers, advancing to the ceremony. איזה כוח




After the ceremony (a bit boring) one of the tzevets- staffs- of zanchanim gathers around their מפקד- commander- to receive instructions about returning to base.




Danny finds us! The new zanchan in a whirl of movement.


Attending the tekes with the mass of Israeli families and seeing Danny afterwards was one of my best experiences here. I generally do not judge experiences or anything in such a manner because a) I have a really bad memory and b) it does nothing for me, but this swirl of people and emotion was mamesh one of the first times I have genuinely felt included in Israeli society and life.




*and short also. I don't think this is related. Just one of those things you pick up on if you are tall. It shouldn't affect their fighting too much.

3 comments:

واحد إفتراضي said...

Hail the new gun holders.
Hail the General who makes children into glorious martyrs.
Hail The Military Boots, the adiquate guns, and the barb wire.

Rebecca said...

dear virtual sir-
americans seem to have a crazy habit of thanking people for things that they do not want. someone trys to hand a college student a flyer for a program they have no interest in attending, and the student says, "no, thank you." we are so polite!

i am extremely proud of my friend danny. i am proud of all of the zanchanim at the tekes that night. i am proud to call myself a jew and a zionist.

i recognize your right to live freely in this world and your right to express yourself as a human. i know that there are many things wrong, that are not as they should be.

this blog is a reflection of what i see in my daily life. it is a noting of things that strike me. it is not a political forum. i do not oppose your right to these thoughts or the expression of them, but please do not do so in this blog.

thank you

Kathy said...

You go girl!!!!!