As I go to start every blog post, I always find myself wanting to begin with ‘Time really flies,’ or ‘I can’t believe it’s already __’. Well, time really does fly and I really cannot believe that today I embark on my last week of work. Going through the timeline of my summer, when I arrived in Israel on May 23, it felt surreal. I spent so much being stressed about preparing for this trip that I never really took a second to think about the fact that I was leaving the only country I’ve ever lived in for 2.5 months. As June passed by I was constantly in awe of this country and all of the beautiful aspects it has to offer. Whether it’s watching the sunset on the beach, the friendly Israeli citizens on every street, or the mind blowing tastes of every meal, this country has so many great things to offer and it is so upsetting to see people all over the world distrust and be against Israel mainly because of the twisted ways the media portrays news. Israeli law subjects all citizens to join the army at the age of 18, for about 3-4 years, with very few exceptions. While this sounds crazy to an American like me, here it is the norm and I have met so many kids my age here who live a completely different lifestyle than my friends and I in the states. While 18 year olds in America typically spend early adulthood in college, with relatively little responsibilities and often times partying, 18 year olds in Israel spend these years separated from their family, undergoing intense military training, and risking their lives for their country on a daily basis. I have a newfound respect and appreciation for the Israel Defense Force, especially because as I mentioned, every Israeli I’ve met here who is my age or older has spent time serving their country, while I am not even sure if I can list 5 Americans I know who are part of our troops.
I wasn’t sure what direction this post was going to go in, but I figured it would just be about how shocked I am that my summer here is nearly over and that I will be packing up and leaving in a little over a week. However, I am proud and honored to write about the IDF and all that it does it protect Israel. Before coming here, I got asked if I was scared or nervous about coming to such a ‘dangerous’ or ‘at risk’ place, but how is a nation with so much intelligence and protection any more dangerous than a nation where you can’t even go to a movie theater or a concert without the fear of some major act of violence and terrorism, as in America?