December 30, 2012
Hebrew word of the day: Yalla (יאללה) = Get going
Shira has put together an awesome mix CD for the bus. It includes "One Day" and "Jerusalem" by Matisyahu, "Salaam" by Sheva, a cover/remix of Bob Marley's "One Love" by Shai 360, and a Hebrew cover/remix of the Numa Numa song. *This Numa Numa song turned out to be a song called "Rebbe Nachman." I heard it at all the bars we went to; it seems to be pretty popular in Israel right now.*
We picked up our eight soldiers today! The way Israel works, every man and woman serves in the Israel Defense Force (IDF) when they turn 18. Men serve three years and women serve two, followed by reserve duty until they are 40. In the US, it's fair to ask someone who is embarking on another phase in their life (usually graduating high school or college at this age) what they're planning to do next, but when I asked our soldiers what they want to do after the army, they just looked confused. Apparently, the way it works is that after their 2-3 years of service, they work for a year to save up some money and then travel the world. After traveling, they work a year or two more to save up for college. In the US, 20-year-olds are halfway through college and panicked about picking out a career. Here, the 20-year-olds are so far from college and lifetime careers that it hasn't seemed to seriously crossed their minds at all. It must be nice to have time to explore the world without being pressured by society to figure out your entire life.
After picking up the soldiers, we went for a hike along the Banyas river, which feeds into the Jordan. It was absolutely gorgeous. I feel like I can't say "gorgeous" enough to describe Israel. In the north alone, they have mountains, lakes, valleys, rivers, and waterfalls. I can't believe so much beauty has been packed into such a small country.
|View of Lebanon through the clouds from Misgav Am|