"Amod Dome!" My legs clamp together as my hands quickly find each other behind my back. "Amod Noach!" My left leg takes a single step outward, while my hands, with clenched fists, follow gravity to rest by my sides. As I stand among a sea of painfully similar, khaki green uniforms and follow the commands given by my mefaaked, or commander, I cannot help but feel an overwhelming sense of unity. I am one of many. All heads slowly follow the same path upward; eyes fixated on the overpowering Israeli flag being raised, commencing the official start of our week-long basic training program.
I feel prepared knowing that the next seven days will test my physical and mental strength, yet I cannot possibly comprehend the extent to which the structure of the army will prohibit my freedom. I will soon learn that there are countless rules associated with every aspect of a soldier's daily life, put in place to create a degree of organization needed for success.
After the commencing ceremony, I, along with the other members in my unit, march in two perfectly constructed lines down a graveled path, leading to rows of barracks. I struggle to stay in formation with the weight of my bags pulling my body closer and closer to the ground. Finally reaching my unit's barrack, I enter my home for the next week, slightly hesitant about the rusty, metal bunk beds and the coarse blankets draped over the lumpy mattresses. Despite my apprehension, I am relieved to rest my body in preparation for the next day's activities, but my optimism is soon crushed as my mefaaked begins explaining exactly how a soldier must fold a blanket, "All seams must be pointing inward and creases need to be perfectly straight." She goes on to...