Tzav Rishon

On Wednesday morning I received a phone call from Nefesh B’Nefesh informing me that the army has been looking for me. Needless to say I spent the rest of the day freaking out that they were going to draft me and I was going to be forced into a position that I really don’t want because that is what has been happening to my boyfriend since he joined the Hesder track two years ago. After class when I got home I called the army to find out what they wanted and turns out they had the wrong address for me so they were calling me in for what they call a “tzav rishon” and since I had missed the first three that were sent to me I had to come in the next morning for it.

I called a friend of mine frantic because I had not been prepared for being called in. When I made Aliya a year ago it was a few days before my 20th birthday which is the age that generally women do not have to serve in the army. It was not that I was trying to avoid doing service like most religious girls, it was more that just happened to be the most convenient time to make Aliya.
Going to the recruitment office for the first time was very intimidating, mainly because when you ask someone for help for the most part the soldiers there don’t really have any idea what they are talking about. I felt like I was the ball in a game of table tennis. One desk would tell me where to go and I would go there only to be told that I was supposed to go somewhere else.  The best part had to be when I was sitting at one station for over an hour until they called me in to tell me that I was at the wrong station!

At the doctor’s station I waited for over 2 and a half hours to be called in. The soldiers there were so immature about everything, made me think that they are not so different from the 17-18 year-olds who are in the waiting area.  This made me feel old because the whole time I was sitting there I was thinking about all the things that I could have been doing with all this free time.  When I was finally called into see the doctor a soldier came in to ask the doctor if she speaks English because there was a guy who didn’t speak any Hebrew and she went on a whole rant about how she doesn’t think she should have to embarrass herself speaking English if there are other doctors who speak better English, I didn’t say anything while I was sitting there and then when she turned to me and asked me a question I said, “I’m sorry I don’t speak Hebrew.” The look on her face was priceless.

Now what no one told me was that I was going to have to get undressed for the doctor appointment. In the states when you go to the doctor you don’t have to take off your clothes, so I said to her “and what if I don’t want to?” Then she got all mad at me saying that I’m making a mistake being difficult… when really all I wanted to know was what if I’m not comfortable getting undressed, is there an alternative.  Apparently there isn’t.  She told me that because of my age she doesn’t think that they are going to call me in, and then afterwards she sent me back to the room I started in.

When I got down to the room they had no idea what I was doing there so they sent me to the front desk, who sent me to a room for a computer test. Everyone there was freaking out about the test and I had been told that it was going to take a few hours so if I wanted to come back another day that would be fine.  I was thinking I came here this morning and I really don’t want to come back another day so what the hell I’ll take their test.  The test was able to be given in English and what I didn’t know was that it was a much easier test than the one that the Israelis were taking. All I had to do was match up shapes and patterns.  To me seemed like the biggest joke ever.

Now all that’s left is to wait for them to send me a draft date, go to the rabbanut and decide what I’m going to do. The options are to opt out because of religious reasons or try and get into “Atudat Olim” and hope that I can get a job in my field.