This blog is not written from the perspective of somebody looking to be the next “Hero of Israel” nor is it written from the perspective of an outsider looking in to life within Israel and within the IDF. This blog is merely my experience; that of an ordinary kid taking an extraordinary experience. My name is Elon Zlotnik and this is my story. I am leaving my studies as a Freshman at Northeastern University in Boston, MA and moving to Israel to join the Israeli Defense Forces as a member of the group “Garin Tzabar”.
I, Elon Zlotnik, am joining the Israeli Defense Forces. This will be one of the most formative experiences of my life and I embrace that with open arms. I am writing a blog as well as taking video of my experiences (and in the future, those of the IDF). The articles I write during and after my service then would not be written from the prospective of an Ashkenazi American Zionist Jew living in the United States. I am, and have been since I came to Boston, writing about Israel. It is not work; it has no bearing on anything I am “learning” in school. Israel is my play.
I intend to wholeheartedly pursue that which is important to me because if I didn’t, I would end up 30 years old working somewhere that I didn’t love thoroughly, with a degree that was “adequate” and “pragmatic” but not uplifting, and I would regret every moment and despise myself. I need the IDF and the IDF needs me. It is as simple as that. I am looking for something more in my life; something beyond attending classes and getting good grades and living my life inside the bubble that college creates. I’ve lived in that same bubble in Los Angeles as well. The real world was at a distance as I attended school with the most privileged youth in the world. True life-changing learning doesn’t come from book learning in that type of vacuum. My body, mind, and spirit reel at the idea of continuing to study inside that vacuum because I know that at some point I will have to grow up, I will have to go through that crucible and the longer I put that off, the farther I fall from being able to achieve true satisfaction, true life meaning, and true physical, mental, and spiritual growth.