Thursday, 22 August 2019

Giyus Kal

Having made many Good Luck cards for new soldiers over the years, it was recently time for me to make a card for my eldest son. We have known for many years - actually from the day he was born - that his conscription day would come but of course time flies and it came around quickly! He is now a soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and will be so for 3 years. We couldn't be prouder!
Every Israeli male and female from the age of 18 who is Jewish, Druze or Circassian (Arab citizens of Israel are not conscripted) is required to serve three and two years, respectively, of compulsory military service. Some exceptions are made on religious, physical, or psychological grounds. The IDF determines a medical profile for each soldier and, according to that profile, decides where to assign the draftees. The highest medical profile draftees serve in the five infantry Brigades, Field/Combat Intelligence units, and Combat engineers. The second highest medical profiles are assigned to serve in the Armoured Corps, Artillery, Military Police, Border Police, and Aman. The lowest acceptable level of medical profiles are drafted into the combat support and combat service support arms, such as the Adjutant Corps, Logistics Corps, and the Ordnance Corps
The Army calls upon a potential soldier in a letter called the Tzav Rishon, or "First Draft Notice". This letter states that the teenager must report to a certain place at a certain time for a day-long examination and interviewing. After careful evaluation of the Tzav Rishon's results the army calls the people to enlist when they turn 18 to begin the army process and basic training.
From time to time a public debate emerges in Israel around the issue of exemption from military service in Israel and indeed whether the country should end conscription in favour of an all-volunteer force. In the meantime there is a need for a large army and there is great pride - and of course some fear - in sending our kids off for their national service.
What else was there to do before my son went in but to make a small celebration for him? The barbecue and beers were of course with his friends but I made him a cake and a special card. The Hebrew greeting on the card says Giyus Kal. Giyus means "recruitment," "enlistment" or "induction" and is most closely associated with the army, as in terms like lishkat giyus, or military induction centre; tzav giyus, or draft notice; and mesibat giyus, the party many Israelis throw just before they join the army for their compulsory service. "Kal" means "easy".
I am hoping and praying that his service will indeed be easy, safe and meaningful to him.

* Edited to add that a young man visiting our home pointed out that soldiers salute with their right hand! All future new soldier cards will be made that way. This card will become a collector's piece 😉


Carol @Comfort Spring Station said...

I understand your pride and your fear. It's hard to accept our kids growing up especially in times of war.

eileeninmd said...


The card is wonderful. I pray you son stays safe while he is serving his country. You should be very proud! Wishing you a happy day!

VeggieMummy said...

What a bitter-sweet moment. Sending keep safe thoughts your son's way. xx

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

I love your beautiful card and will pray for your family!

Michelle said...

Congrats to your son! I know you must be so proud. Prayers for his safety during this time. Thank you for taking the time to link up today.

Pam Richardson said...

I know you are proud of your son for serving his country. Blessings for his safety as he serves, love the card.
Thanks for visiting with me today,
Pam @ Everyday Living

little orange dog said...

What a fabulous card and cake to send your son off with. I wish him all the best on this new journey.


Jayne said...

What a fabulous card! Wishing your son all the very best on his journey and that he keeps safe and well.

Also sending you a big hug, as all of us mums know, our children will always be our babies no matter what age they are. x

betty-NZ said...

I know you are proud of your son and he will do well. I think all young men should, at least, go through boot camp to learn a bit of discipline.

I will keep him in my prayers.

Junieper/Jesh said...

For your location in the Middle East, it is vital you have the draft! Nevertheless, it is no small matter to be faced with the possibility of death at such a young age! Congrats to your son for the "next step" in his development, and also congratulations to you both for bringing this sacrifice willingly and proudly:) Thank you for giving the details about the draft to All Seasons.
All the best to you and your family, Lisa. Jesh

Powell River Books said...

You make the most wonderful cards. - Margy

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

All the best wishes in the world for your son in this new chapter of his life (and to you too, as it is an important marker for the parents as well!). Thank you for the clear explanation of how the enlistment process works in your country. I’ve known that every 18 year old in Israel tdoes service, but have always had questions about how exactly it works. You answered them all, in a way that even I can understand!