ז׳ באייר ה׳תשע״ז (May 3, 2017) Gadna: Bonding in Olive Green

This week TRY ’17 ventured into the desert to experience Gadna, a 4-day simulation of being a soldier in the IDF. We experienced challenges, learned about the IDF, shot guns, and bonded with each other-all while donning the classic olive green uniform.

The climax of our time on base together was the gibushon, or bonding activity. It was a series of physical challenges, which progressively got harder as our commanders yelled at us. The catch was that we could give up whenever we wanted, making it not only a physical challenge, but also a psychological one. I remember the moment I got out: It was during my second plank, after I crawled across a rocky desert patch. I told myself I would hold on until my body physically couldn’t do it anymore, and then my arms collapsed, and it was as if I was experiencing my body as an outsider.

I was proud of myself for making it that far, but I was even prouder watching some of my peers continue further into the challenge. I sat on the sidelines and watched them push themselves like warriors.

A thought went through my mind that I couldn’t shake: This could be the next generation of soldiers. These people who I know like brothers and sisters have it in them to defend my country. Instead of resenting them, being jealous or angry that they made it further than me, I had only positive thoughts towards them. I was ecstatic that my friends have such strength-physically and mentally. I realized that the gibushon had done its job-it solidified in me the pride and happiness I feel towards everyone in TRY, who I know will continue to do incredible things for Israel and all Jewish people.

NOMI WILLIS
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