Sunday, 24 March 2019
(Reading time: 4 - 8 minutes)

Serving in the Israeli Defense Forces - The I.D.F.

Hebrew: שירות צבאי - צה"ל - Israeli defense force

National Service

Fore the most part new immigrants have no experience with serving in the Israeli defence force (armed forces) unless they served as volunteers.  Stories of how out ancestors escaped conscription in the Russian army at the beginning of the 20th century are common to many Anglo families or your granddad might have been a WWII or Vietnam Vet.  South African men were conscripted for up to 2 years and fought in Angola, but conscription came to an end in 1993.  Most of us have heard stories about the strength and might of the Israeli Defense Forced (I.D.F.) or Tzahal as it is referred to - Tzva HaHagana LeYisrael - צה"ל.  Young adults from the diaspora may have volunteered in the Israeli army for a short period in programs like Mahal or SarEl but your compulsory national service is quite another story, it's a huge and life-changing event.



Important Tip

While you may bring original documents with you, only hand in photocopies.  Never, ever give anyone your original documents.  This applies in all offices and situations where you are required to present documents.  If you do, you will never see the original document again.


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