Saturday, December 12, 2009

Marriage or the Military: Exclusive Relationships

The year after I finish university, I once reassured my mother, I intend to be either married—or in the military! Little did I realize that marriage is perhaps the best metaphor to describe the exclusive relationship I have committed to in becoming a soldier. I am not referring to how this army business impacts my ongoing search for the right missus. That fascinating discussion will no doubt provide material enough for many future write-ups! Instead I refer to the tact I must and will henceforth maintain in not disclosing anything confidential about the Israeli military in this public journal. Much like a marriage, there will be much that transpires in my life as an Israeli soldier that I cannot confide outside of IDF circles.

I do not expect it will be easy at times to maintain such an exclusive relationship. Communication verifies reality, after all. It is the most treasured value I know and one that underlies my attachment to this very journal. And so limiting the full force of that value to a single partner—in this case, the IDF—will be a trying experience. Perhaps it will also be the dry run I need, however, to make a similar success of the other exclusive relationship I once spoke of to my mother that remains unrealized.

Bottom line: Do not expect to find anything in this space that shares confidential information about the IDF.

Bonus: On my very first night in the army, my commanding officer took the religious guys aside and assured us we would always receive the army regulated time for the three daily prayers. "No doubt many of your friends, far more than your secular peers in the unit, will be getting married over the course of training," he added with a sympathetic smile. "Well, don't expect you will be able to attend many of them." Secrecy, it seems, is not the only demand this exclusive relationship will be asking of me!


  1. I will commiserate over missing the weddings of close friends with you. I am dreading the day one of my besties gets married and I cannot go. My heart will break a millions times.

  2. I think it was my kibbutz family who told me that your average Israeli goes to something like 300 bar mitzvahs in his life, but he only remembers two - his own, and the one his מפקד wouldn't let him out for.

  3. I like your intro, it's how I feel too.