My Biggest Fadicha
My life is pretty fadicha filled, but my army life is mostly fadicha free.
Some of you were probably just like: what’s that hebrew word he just wrote in english that kinda sounds like something you can order at a mexican-themed Bar Mitzva?
Fadicha- a faux pas, an embarrassing or silly mistake. Or in generation y lingo: EPIC FAIL.
My most exhausting week in training was Shavua Milchama- a week of all-night treks with full battle gear and extensive company-wide combat exercises simulating actual war conditions. During this week I fell asleep while walking, ate more tuna than a post-hibernation Grizzly bear, and joined in a platoon-wide spooning session after we were sent to sleep in our wet uniforms in temperatures most resembling advice given on perishable dairy products.
Sunrise after said cuddling night means time to daven, so I put down my Negev, take out my tefilin and talit and start praying. Yet before I know it my chin is in my chest, my mouth gaping, siddur fluttering somewhere between hoshanot for the fourth and fifth day. I quickly splash some water on my face, wrap up, and reach for my Negev to head back to scavenge for whatever bread, tuna, chalva, jam, fruit compote, or can-flavored chocolate spread I can find. One problem: My Negev is gone. What. How? Wh-
What I see nearly paralyzes me.
It’s the Mamach- the head commander of my entire draft class- and he’s staring my Negev up and down like a mem tzadik at Machane Natan on a Sunday morning.
Huuuuge Problem: Someone whose kind of a big deal has got my Negev and I got nothing. Like really, nothing. I’m so finished. No interlocution of b.s., no matter how well played, can get me out of this.
Not-good-no-not-good-at-all Solution: Remember when America lost a drone in Iran and President Obama was like, “hey… so do you uh… mind if we get that um… back?” So it didn’t work then… but who says it won’t work now?
Meir: Hey uh… that’s um… mine.
Mamach: This is yours?
(cue my eyes falling towards the ground, lips pursing, cheeks flushing scarlet- effectively making me look like a semi-burnt pomegranate)
Meir: Um, yea…
Mamach: THE NEGEV IS ALWAYS KEPT CLOSE TO YOU! YOU NEVER LET IT OUT OF SIGHT!
Meir: Yes, Ha Mamach. It won’t happen again.
Mamach: It better not.
Losing a gun is unacceptable; but the truth is I work really really hard and responsibly on my Negev, so one slip up can be rationalized as acceptable.
UNTIL THE SAME THING HAPPENS THE VERY NEXT DAY.
At the conclusion of an arduous drill, a 25k trek immediately following, and another lengthy drill succeeding that, I finally plop down under a tree and barely notice my eyes closing…
They’re soon forced open by my stomach tapping impatiently on its watch. Lunch was apparently two hours ago. Instinctively I reach for my Negev but grab air instead. I sit up to convince myself. It’s not there. My gun is gone. Not. Again.
It was probably your friends playing a trick. Must’ve been. You had your arm on it and put the strap around your arm like you’re supposed to. But still, where the heck is it?
The words drain the blood from my face.
“Looking for your Negev?”
It’s my officer, in that oh-you’re-so-done-don’t-even-try-it tone.
Oh, what makes you think that. Was it my darting around frantically wearing the same face I would if I found out the government deemed drinking seltzer on Shabbat illegal and unconstitutional?
Meir: Um, yea…
Officer G: You know who took it?
Don’t say the mamach, no not the mamach, please not the mamach, ANYONE but the mamach…
Officer G: The Mamach, bichvodo u’vatsmo.
That’s it. This time I’m really finished. 28 day detention on the spot. It was nice knowing you, nouns outside the army. I hope by the time I come back my room hasn’t been auctioned off by Bank HaPoalim and my friends can still tell the difference between me and my twin brother.
Doesn’t the Mamach have better things to do than going around stealing guns from dead tired soldiers? If the mamach had an E-Harmony profile his occasional hobbies would include:
Making serious faces
Stealing Meir’s Negev
Yelling at people during combat drills
Stealing Meir’s Negev
Attempting to speak to Meir in english that time Meir went to get a beard exemption and asked “AZ EHHHH WHY YOU WANT GROW MOUSTACHE?” (I’ve never bit my lip harder)
Officer G: This will never EVER happen again. Go get it, it’s by the Samach Mem Pey.
Turns out the Mamach stole two Negevs- mine and my friend Rafi’s, who had dozed off nearby. So while the samech mem pey starts GIVING IT to Rafi, I sneak up, grab my negev and tiptoe away as if I was never there. And by some miracle he doesn’t notice me.
I still don’t know how I got out unscathed. No punishment, BIG fadicha. My theory is that when the Mamach took my Negev again for the second time (as I’m writing this I still can’t get over that he took it TWICE) he didn’t see who he was taking it from because I was sleeping with my hat over my face. If he would have known it was me I would be writing this post in a month from now.
Now when I sleep I cuddle my Negev like an oversized teddy bear and it’s paid off big time. When the Samgad- the assistant head of the Battalion, ranked higher than the Mamach- stole a bunch of guns one night from the gun rack because the guy guarding it absentmindedly left his post, we were called outside and ordered to present all our weapons. I cooly flashed both my Negev and Micro Tavor.
Yeh, as if people ever steal guns from this guy.