Israel Air Force by proxy: swearing-in ceremony, sabras, and planting roots.

It’s a little surreal reading up on your country’s military air strike operations in real time as you drive back from your brother’s air force swear-in ceremony.

But then again, it’s often surreal living here.

We made the three-hour trek down to the Ovda Israel Airforce Base to see my brother’s טקס השבעה or swearing-in ceremony post-basic training.

It was intense as someone who didn’t grow up watching older siblings go through this, or never having gone through it myself as an eighteen year old. The actual swearing in – so powerful. I know my bro – a shlav bet soldier – took it very seriously… years of diaspora Israel education will do that to you (and how). It was interesting how a lot of the 18-year-old sabras didn’t seem as inspired. Maybe because it’s non combat. Maybe because it was a background or support issue. Maybe because this is just what they know they have to do, a cycle of life thing. Maybe… because they’re 18 and only been at this for a month.

In any case… I’m inspired by the fact a few of the young guys went up to him after to tell him how, well, inspiring his loud-and-proud swearing-in was, to his commander, over the tanach.

And I’m also glad the kids got a bit of a sabra rite of passage. They won’t have all the experiences other native born Israeli kids get, but we’re starting to plant those kinds of roots here.

Right here, way deep in southern Israel, at Ovda air force base.

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