Twelfth grade girls across the country will agree that the Sherut Leumi (National Service) application process is notoriously frustrating*.
Best described as an emotional roller coaster, the process generally involves copious tears, an online registration system which never seems to work, and considerable heartbreak and disappointment.
In stark contrast, when 12th grade boys apply to hesder**, there’s neither aggravation nor frustration.
Or, rather, I should say that there’s no aggravation or frustration for the boys themselves.
But when it comes to their parents – not to mention their assorted grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and other relatives - it’s a whole different story.
You see, the boys’ mantra is “what’s the rush?” – a phrase which is cleverly designed to drive the most easy-going of parents crazy.
Here’s how it works:
The boys spend their senior year going on shvu”shim (i.e. checking out different yeshivot).
And then, as the weeks turn into months, the naive parents casually ask their beloved sons about their plans for the following year.
“Have you made a decision yet?” the parents innocently inquire.
And inevitably, the darling boys reply, “What’s the rush? It’s only Chanukah/Purim/Pesach/Yom HaAtzma’ut, etc. There’s still plenty of time…”
Indeed, one mother (feel free to identify yourself in the comment section, if you so desire) reported that a few years ago, as Rosh Chodesh Elul (i.e. the start of the yeshiva term) rapidly approached, she half-jokingly said to her indecisive son:
“Look. I’ll be more than happy to drive you to your yeshiva on the first day of the zman (term), but where are we going? Can you at least give me a general direction. North? South? East? West?”
Thus, I’m thrilled to announce that this evening, at precisely 8:30 PM, the CTO
finally officially registered for next year in one of Israel’s most prestigious hesder yeshivas.
The Our Shiputzim editorial board extends our best wishes to the CTO and his classmates for continued success in all their future endeavors.
*Here in TRLEOOB (=the real life equivalent of our blog), we’ve not yet experienced this particular cultural phenomenon (i.e Sherut Leumi) firsthand. But if you have – either as a bat sherut or as the parent of a bat sherut – and would like to write a guest post about it, please contact me at the email address listed towards the top of the sidebar to the right.
**I refer specifically to yeshivot hesder, because I’m most familiar with them. However, my understanding is that this post also holds true for the various yeshivot gevohot (of every stripe) and even the mechinot as well.